Newsflash: coffee cups are not recyclable. Looks are deceiving each cup is lined with a plastic film which makes them difficult to recycle, that’s where Simply Cups comes in. They specialise in recycling single-use cups and turn them into reusable alternatives. To date, Simply Cups have diverted over 15 million single-use coffee cups from landfill. In this episode of Sustainability Further Podcast, Lottie speaks with John Ryan about the impact that COVID-19 has had on Simply Cups, Australia's largest cup recycling program.
For Ryan, sustainability is about caring for our future by turning waste into new resources. Single use coffee cups, Ryan explains, have a thin plastic lining, which is bonded with the paper to stop the hot liquid seeping through the cup. Hence, because single use coffee cups are made of mix of paper and plastic, they are not accepted by either paper or plastic sorting facilities. This results in over a billion coffee cups finishing in Australian landfill every year.
Ryan thought that somebody had to do something about it and realised that by collecting the cups in a clean stream, they could be recycled via other recyclers who actually mix paper and plastic into their products.
With over 1100 collection points across Australia, Simply cups have collected more than 16 million cups and counting!
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