There is a lot of information about recycling and composting paper cups in Australia and sometimes it can be a bit confusing.
We’ve put together the following information to try and make it a little clearer for you.
The wood used to make the paper for our paper cups is from sustainable plantation forests, purpose-grown for manufacturing paper products. This means the raw material used to manufacture our paper cups is from a renewable resource, a key point of difference between paper cups and alternatives made from non-renewable materials.
What Are Compostable Paper Cups?
Compostable paper cups are different from ‘standard’ paper cups in that they contain a bioplastic lining within the cup that is made from plants, not oil.
The bioplastic lining allows the compostable cups to breakdown over time and not leave waste.
We are proud to offer 100% compostable cups that are certified commercially compostable to AS4736 in both Australia and New Zealand.
What About The ‘Standard’ Paper Cups?
‘Standard’ (non-compostable) paper cups contain a small oil based lining within the cups (to keep them from leaking) that will not break down over time. These cups and their lids however, can be recycled.
According to research undertaken by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), research shows that takeaway coffee cups can in fact be recycled.
We also can back this up with the fact that any waste paper used in the manufacture of the cups at our factory is picked up by a local recycling centre and recycled.
APCO CEO Trish Hyde said that because the actual cup is made from paperboard with a plastic lining – there have been concerns that this mixed material presents issues for recycling facilities.
“Our APCO organisation members include material recovery and recycling facilities. Through the working group, we resolved that coffee cups can be recycled,” she said.
“Having said that, we also know that there is more work to do to ensure that recyclers receive fair value in recycling this material.”
Are The Cups Always Recycled?
Unfortunately not. There are councils within Australia that do recycle paper cups but not all do. Below you will find a list of those councils that do currently recycle paper cups.
City of Ballarat
Greater Bendigo City Council
Nillumbik Shire Council
Warrnambool City Council
Wyndham City Council
Brisbane City Council
Lock Valley Regional Council
Scenic Rim Regional Council
Southern Downs Regional Council
Whitsunday Regional Council
Adelaide Hills Council
District Council of Cleve
Town of Gawler
Kangaroo Island Council
City of Mount Gambier
City of Onkaparinga
City of Playford
City of Port Adelaide Enfield
City of Salisbury
City of Unley
City of Victor Harbor
City of West Torrens
District Council of Yankalilla
Armidale Dumareq Council
Byron Shire Council
Gosford City Council
Lismore City Council
Moree Plains Shire Council
Murrumbidgee Shire Council
Port Stephens Council
Shellharbour City Council
Snowy River Shire
Tamworth Regional Council
Tenterfield Shire Council
Wyong Shire Council
City of Bunbury
City of Busselton
City of Cockburn
All ACT Councils
Are Things Changing With Recycling?
Yes. While slow development within Australia’s recycling facilities previously made it non-profitable to recycle cups, and meant many waste facilities didn’t separate the cups for recycling, recent innovations have made paper and cardboard recycling more cost-effective.
Through its Simply Cups initiative, environmental solutions company, Closed Loop, is tackling Australia’s overwhelming waste problem by teaming up with 7-Eleven to save coffee cups from landfill.
7-Eleven are installing dedicated coffee cup recycling bins in over 200 of their stores nationally, as well as funding 50 other large-scale locations including offices, universities and construction sites as part of the initiative. All of these cups are collected and sent off to processing plants that are designed specifically to process the recycling of paper cups.
To learn more about how the 7-Eleven initiative might benefit you – check out their website.