A COFFEE shop in Southampton is pioneering a take-away cup said to be the first fully recyclable kind in the UK.

The Docks Coffee House, on Oxford Street, is using limited edition cups designed by the Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney.

Its producers say conventional paper coffee cups are not easily recyclable because they are made from a plastic-coated virgin paperboard which does not break down efficiently in the standard recycling process.

The Frugal Cups used at the cafe feature a food-grade polyethylene liner which separates from the 100 per cent recycled paperboard during recycling.

Dishi Umfleet, founder of the coffee shop, said: “Docks Coffee House has been going for a little over two years.

“Quite early on, we made the decision to try getting rid of plastic bottles we had in our fridge and we have mostly done that. A lot of our stuff is in aluminium cans or glass. We’ve got just one drink left in a plastic bottle.”

She said the business switched to recyclable straws early on and uses biodegradable smoothie cups.

“The one thing we didn’t have was coffee cups,” she said.

The initial feedback from customers had been very positive, she said.

She said take-away coffees accounted for around 30 per cent of the business’s sold every week.

Since Southampton’s bins contain sections for general waste and recycling, she said the Frugal Cups could be easily disposed of wherever the customer took them.

“You don’t want to have to go half a mile down the road to try and put that in a suitable place where it can be recycled,” she said.

Rebecca Turner, head of sales and marketing at the cups’ producer Frugalpac, said: “We’re looking for forward-thinking coffee shops that are aware of consumer knowledge and sustainability concerns.

“Dishi and Docks Coffee House is one of those businesses that we felt would be a good fit for us,” she added.

DJ Gemma Cairney is interested in sustainability and produced a blossom design for the cups.

“Gemma is so enthusiastic. It was great that she understood the benefits of our product. She very quickly saw the appeal of our product and understood the issues,” said Rebecca.

Dishi said the move to green cups was part of a growing environmental awareness in Southampton, which recently signed a Green City Charter setting challenging goals for sustainability.

“People are now more ready and more knowledgeable to engage in the war on waste,” said Dishi.

“We know there’s a lot of waste happening and we know there’s more we could be doing.

“People will be much more engaged and much more willing to go for this.”

The Daily Echo is among the signatories to Southampton’s Green City Charter. The public are being invited to sign up at southampton.gov.uk