Does recycling coffee cups make a difference? Listen to 6 Minute English



Most takeaway coffee cups are not recyclable because they’re lined with plastic. One big coffee shop chain has introduced a 5p levy for using a disposable cup, to encourage people to bring their own; another one pledged to recycle as many disposable coffee cups as they produce by 2020. Neil and Rob discuss if this is enough to encourage coffee drinkers to behave in a more environmentally-friendly way. And they teach you related vocabulary.

You’ll find the transcript and vocabulary on our website:

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  • We've been discussing ethical coffee too. Hear the discussion here https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=AfNSMykrG1I

    BBC Learning English May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thank you.

    Haresh Makwana May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Introduction

    Most takeaway coffee cups are not recyclable because they're lined with plastic. One big coffee shop chain has introduced a 5p levy for using a disposable cup to encourage people to bring their own; another one pledged to recycle as many disposable coffee cups as they produce by 2020. Neil and Rob discuss if this is enough to encourage coffee drinkers to behave in a more environmentally-friendly way. And they teach you related vocabulary.

    This week's question

    Which country drinks the most coffee per capita – so not the total amount of coffee but the average per person. Is it:

    a) Japan

    b) Kenya

    c) Finland

    Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

    Vocabulary

    disposable
    designed to be thrown away after a short time

    reusable
    designed to be used many times

    rolling out
    gradually introducing something new to a business

    infrastructure
    buildings or structures that are needed for something to work.

    a nudge
    a gentle push

    to fight (something) tooth and nail
    to make a strong effort against something

    Transcript 

    Note: This is not a word for word transcript  

    Neil
    Hello, and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

    Rob
    And I'm Rob.

    Neil
    Now Rob, we’ve talked before on this programme about our love of coffee.

    Rob
    Oh yes, indeed. I couldn’t function without it.

    Neil
    But have you ever thought about the environmental consequences of all those disposable coffee cups?

    Rob
    Oh yes, indeed. I always carry a reusable cup with me so I don’t have to throw one away.

    Neil
    So if a disposable cup is one you throw away, a reusable one is one that you can use again and again.

    Rob
    Yes, there is a big problem with disposable cups in that many of them can’t be recycled, so there is a lot of waste for something we only use for a short time.

    Neil
    What are the big coffee shop chains doing about this problem? We’ll find out a little bit more shortly, but first, a quiz for you. Which country drinks the most coffee per capita – so not the total amount of coffee but the average per person. Is it:
    a) Japan
    b) Kenya, or
    c) Finland
    What do you think, Rob?

    Rob
    Ooh, tricky. I don’t think the Japanese are big coffee drinkers and I know they produce a lot of coffee in Kenya. I’m surprised the USA isn’t on the list but I’m going to go with Finland. Just because.

    Neil
    Well, we'll see if you're right later in the programme. On a recent BBC You and Yours radio programme they discussed the topic of coffee cups. Some of the big chains are now charging customers more for a disposable cup and giving discounts if people bring their own reusable. However not all of the shops actually collect old cups and sort them for recycling in the shop itself. Here’s Jaz Rabadia from Starbucks, Is the store only interested in facilities inside their shops?

    Jaz Rabadia 
    It is something that we are in the process of rolling out and it will be in all of our stores. It's also not just our stores in which these cups end up. So we're doing a lot of work outside of our store environment to ensure that paper cups can be recycled on the go. We're working with our environmental charity partner Hubbub to increase recycling infrastructure outside of our stores because that too is where a lot of our cups will end up.

    Neil

    So are they just working in their stores at improving recycling?

    Rob
    Well no, after all most people take their coffee out of the stores, so they are working on recycling infrastructure outside as well. This will be things like bins and collection points which are clearly marked for coffee cups.

    Neil
    And what about enabling recycling cups in store?

    Rob
    Well she said that was something they are rolling out to all stores. Rolling out here means introducing over a period of time. So it’s starting to happen, but is not finished yet.

    Neil
    Let’s listen again.

    Jaz Rabadia
    It is something that we are in the process of rolling out and it will be in all of our stores. It's also not just our stores in which these cups end up. So we're doing a lot of work outside of our store environment to ensure that paper cups can be recycled on the go. We're working with our environmental charity partner hubbub to increase recycling infrastructure outside of our stores because that too is where a lot of our cups will end up.

    Neil
    Not everyone, however, believes that the coffee chains are doing everything that they can. This is Mary Creagh, a member of the British parliament. She compares the situation to that of the plastic bag charge. This was a law brought in to force shops to charge customers for plastic bags, which previously had been free.

    Mary Creagh MP
    If you think you’re having to pay extra for something, as we saw with the plastic bags, we think a similar psychological measure is needed, a nudge measure, to encourage people to remember to bring their reusable cup with them and of course this is something that the coffee shops have been fighting tooth and nail.

    Neil
    She thinks that we consumers need a nudge to help us remember our reusable cups.

    Rob
    Yes, we need a nudge, which is a little push, a reason. In this case, she is thinking of a law to make them charge more. But she says the coffee chains really don’t want this, they are, she says, fighting it tooth and nail. If you fight something tooth and nail you are against it completely and try to stop it.

    Neil
    Let's hear MP Mary Creagh again. 

    Mary Creagh MP
    If you think you’re having to pay extra for something, as we saw with the plastic bags, we think a similar psychological measure is needed, a nudge measure, to encourage people to remember to bring their reusable cup with them and of course this is something that the coffee shops have been fighting tooth and nail. 

    Neil

    Time to review our vocabulary, but first, let’s have the answer to the quiz question. Which country drinks the most coffee per capita? Is it:
    a) Japan
    b) Kenya, or
    c) Finland
    What did you think, Rob? 

    Rob
    I took a bit of a guess at Finland. 

    Neil
    Well, congratulations, your guess was correct. The Finns on average get through an amazing 12kg of coffee a year, each. Now, onto the vocabulary.

    Rob
    We had a couple of related but opposite words. Something disposable is designed to be used once or a few times and then thrown away and a reusable is designed to be used again and again. 

    Neil
    We then had rolling out which in a business sense is the process of gradually introducing something new. This could be a new system, new product, new technology or even a new way of doing things. 

    Rob
    New ideas often need new infrastructure. This is usually physical structures that are needed to make something work, for example rail infrastructure includes tracks, stations and signals. 

    Neil
    A nudge is a small push, to encourage us to do something. You don’t need a nudge to carry a reusable coffee cup, do you? 

    Rob
    Oh, no, I’m all for it. In fact I’d fight tooth and nailto keep hold of my reusable. Which is quite a coincidence as that was our last expression today. To fight tooth and nail means to make a strong effort to try to stop something or achieve something. 

    Neil
    Well, that’s all from us. We look forward to your company next time. Until then, you can find us in all the usual places on social media, online and on our app. Just search for 'BBC Learning English'. Goodbye! 

    Rob
    Goodbye!

    La

    TERRA DA CAATINGA COM CLEITON CARVALHO. May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thanku

    Jessy Joy May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Hay

    Vien Doan May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • very nice

    Engineer Nawal May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • "fight tooth and nail" in this video means: "to make a strong effort against something". But when i searched this idiom in CambridgeDictionary, this idiom means: "to try very hard to get something you want". Can BBC explain this? Thanks!

    Thành Lê May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Can I use these vocabulary in ielts writing test?

    Thu Doan May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thank you, BBC. 💚

    tgchan May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • I feel glad when I watch this videos and I can understand the information I feel that I improve my listening and obviously I can practice my writting and grammar.
    Thank you for do this videos 😉
    Good vibes BBC !

    Wendy Soto May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thanks a lot

    Anna Rosier May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thank you so much! I learn new expressions through your lesson✨

    Smeraldo studies May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Are these words used frequently and naturally in daily conversations? Especially fight tooth and nail and rolling out.

    Hong Ngoc Tran May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • 💓💓💓💜💛💚💙💟

    Ayat aboels'ood May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • I love your videos!
    But is it possible to write the vocabulary under the video?
    Best wishes from Austria!

    κατ. rammerstorfer May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • similar to drinking bubble tea

    starbeeleung May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thank you BBC

    Jalil Karbalai May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • greetings from somalia !

    Liibaan Xuseen May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Great way to improve listening ability!

    杜銘杰 May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • So I need a nudge to learn more! 😍😍
    Thank you so much

    Feras Aljarad May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • I dont understand the video a little

    Vivie Cris May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Привет ! Большая просьба писать субтитры покрупнее..

    Оксана May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Such a good day will start by a cup of coffe

    Ali Zaini May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • I prefer milk tea to coffee 😂

    Quế Anh Trần May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thank you so so much

    Naza Liza May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • It was better if y wrote the words that were used

    Fahmiii Hag May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • 😢 Why I can't understand the conversation?

    sally yassen May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • I cannot wait for BBC Learning English to roll out new videos and lessons😝

    Wei-Cherng Kuo May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Are the answers to the quiz questions scripted as well?

    Sergio May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • The most interesting video

    Aliia 01 May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • I have no idea why some people dislike the video 🤔

    Frenkie De Sorm May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • In Taiwan, all the drink shop included coffee bar offer a special option, if guests bring own bottle,they will have discount for every beverages purchased. We also reduce plastic bags used,recycling or prepare own bag.
    BTW, I love coffee with cocoa!

    謝品柔 May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Thank you so much!

    Eloy Palo Osorio May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Its funny, british and americans are all the time speaking about problems they created, as if it was everybody's problem. In any portuguese cafe the coffee is served in a reusable cup.

    Domingos Manuel Cabrita Correia May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Great video

    Tamara Pierre May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Great video

    Tamara Pierre May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply
  • Well, it is a problem, but what is worse is that people in my country, after drinking their coffee or other beverages, they dump or throw their cups away wherever they're walking.
    Finding solutions for this problem requires more governments' funds to build industries recycling these wastes, and more international conferences discussing how to create other types of material not polluting the environment, which is already in a big danger.

    Nawar Nawar May 26, 2020 7:17 pm Reply

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