The British Coffee Association (BCA) has set out its aim for its industry to become the first to achieve a “circular economy” in the UK.

In its white paper ‘Bean to Bin and Beyond’, the BCA details the opportunities and barriers in creating a fully sustainable coffee sector.

The paper includes seven goals for the industry, which includes the aim to switch to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging across all products within the next seven years.

The association also recommends responsible sourcing of all packaging materials – including plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminium – through greater supply chain transparency, traceability and investment in technologies that reduce waste to landfill.

It calls for support in encouraging the government to expand investment in recycling and waste management infrastructure, including investment in composting facilities and the improvement of the waste collection infrastructure.

‘Bean to Bin and Beyond’ also highlights a number of eco-initiatives underway across the UK and overseas, including the capture of waste coffee grounds for reuse, introduction of green transport, and support for farms in coffee-growing countries in reducing waste and improving efficiency.

Chris Stemman, executive director of the BCA, said: “We are proud of the great progress already made by the UK coffee industry in identifying and acting upon sustainability issues, from bean to bin, and beyond. We are seeking a renewed focus from all our members to act collaboratively in addressing the specific barriers that we still face and to become a global model of best practice in all key aspects of sustainability. By defining our collective Sustainability Mission, we aim to create priorities, enhance collaboration, and support all of our individual members in their own efforts to drive sustainability. We must collaborate, more than ever, in order to protect the needs and interests of people and the environment throughout our supply chains.”