Council bids to cut out disposables

Coffee cupsA new scheme to wean people off disposable coffee cups has been launched by Gateshead Council.

Cafes like Bewicks Café at Gateshead Civic Centre serves hot drinks in disposable plastic-coated paper cups, but this leads to more than 18,000 of the unrecyclable cups going straight into the waste bin every year.

Now, Gateshead Council is encouraging its customers to use its new range of re-usable coffee cups which are made entirely from rice husks.

The new cups look and feel just like hard plastic but are 100% natural. They can be used hundreds of times and at the end of their life will break down into compost in around 90 days.

The cups are on sale at Bewicks coffee shop at Gateshead Civic Centre priced just £3.50, which includes a free hot drink and a 15p discount off any future hot drink bought their using the cup.

Councillor John McElroy, Cabinet member for the Environment, says: "A recent government report estimated that at least 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK alone - that's enough to stretch more than five times around the Earth.

"This is hugely wasteful but it also creates a massive litter problem, too.

"Our new re-usable cups won't solve the nation's waste problem, but they will help us to reduce our own waste problem and that will have some effect. It also sets an example and encourages people to think about the waste they produce."

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