ButterflyCup launches as UK’s first plastic-free lidless disposable cup
Britain’s first fully plastic-free and recyclable lid-free takeaway cup is being launched in the UK today (2 December 2020).
It comes after TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall challenged the major coffee chains to switch to a “properly recyclable” cup to solve the “takeout trash mountain” created by the 5000 coffee cups Britons throw away every minute. In his BBC documentary Hugh’s War on Waste, Fearnley-Whittingstall said “Only by changing to a cup that is properly recyclable in the public waste disposal system… can they [coffee major coffee chains] justify the bold environmental claims they are making. This is a solvable problem, so let’s see them solve it.”
ButterflyCup founder Tommy McLoughlin has solved this problem with “the world’s most environmentally friendly disposable cup.” He hopes it will “lift the lid on the eco disaster” posed by coffee cup plastic waste.
Britons throw away 2.5 billion coffee cups each year, while only 1 in 400 is recycled. If each of those 2.5 billion cups lids were placed on top of each other, they would reportedly create a stack long enough to stretch around the entire world.
Most cups to date are not recycled thanks to their plastic lining. They also require the container and the lid to be thrown away separately, often causing users to dispose of them incorrectly. Unlike traditional takeaway cups, ButterflyCup contains no plastic laminate and crucially, due to its all-in-one design, eliminates the need for a plastic lid. The inks are all plant-based too.
ButterflyCup can be recycled in the regular paper bin along with cardboard and ordinary paper and can be composted at home or in a food waste bin, providing consumers with a greener, more sustainable way of enjoying their favourite beverage on the go. It also biodegrades naturally if it is improperly disposed of as environmental litter.
ButterflyCup has already held talks with several of the major coffee chains and is currently used in more than 20 countries across five continents.
Despite the rise of reusable cups, the WWF forecasts that by 2030 the UK will use 33% more cups than it does now. Coffee cups and lids currently generate huge volumes of both landfill waste and environmental litter because they cannot be recycled in the public waste collection system and will take decades or more to biodegrade, leaving microplastics when and if they do.
The ButterflyCup has a patented folding design which securely closes the top of the cup and prevents splashes, leaks and drips, while allowing the consumer to drink from its inbuilt drinking spout.
Tommy McLoughlin, founder and CEO of ButterflyCup said: “We are thrilled to be launching in the UK with WWT, an organisation whose ethos of protecting the natural world we share.
“It is a travesty that of the billions of coffee cups the UK uses each year, so few get recycled. We created ButterflyCup to lift the lid on this eco disaster and help solve it. We believe it is the world’s most environmentally friendly disposable cup, and we hope more coffee outlets across the UK give their customers the option of using it in the near future.”
Head of Sustainability at WWT, Lucy Smith, said: “We are delighted to be using ButterflyCup across all our wetland sites. We have had brilliant feedback from staff and visitors when we trialled it at one of our centres.
“We offer a discount for refilling reusable cups but where this is not possible, a fully recyclable and compostable cup provides a great option. ButtlerflyCup’s could even be reused for seed planting and then put straight in the soil where they will fully break down.
“The product offers a simple but brilliant solution to part of the plastic waste crisis.”