What happens when potential government legislation threatens a whole industry? This was the situation faced by the FPA when the government’s Environment Audit Committee reported on the use of paper cups in the takeaway coffee sector. As soon as the report was published, our media relations team leapt into action.
With only 24 hours’ notice, we were alerted that the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee was releasing the report from its inquiry into paper cups.
The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) represents manufacturers of most of the UK’s paper cups and was closely following this thread, with government engagement, committee meetings, briefings and policy planning. We also work with the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG), which focuses specifically on paper cups.
Between the two organisations, the brief was to focus on the extensive work the industry had done in the past two years and the hugely increased capacity for recycling paper cups in the UK. So, we prepared a statement, issued it on the wire and waited for the phone to ring.
We were inundated with requests for comment and the following day, the Executive Director of the FPA, the Chairman of the PCRRG and key members carried out 13 live media (TV & radio) interviews and numerous press interviews.
Capacity now exists to recycle all paper cups used in the UK and thanks to our response to the latte levy with the FPA and PCRRG, awareness of this risen substantially, increasing the amount of cups returned to stores for recycling across the country.