Coffee cup recycler combats ‘busy’ culture

Benita Kolovos
(Australian Associated Press)


It seems Australians are too busy to sit down and have a coffee these days and the “throwaway” culture means millions of coffee cups are piling up in landfill and damaging the environment.

But an Australian recycling company claims to have the solution – if you’re not too busy to help.

Rob Pascoe, founder of Simply Cups, says the number of disposable coffee cups being used is growing steadily alongside the coffee culture and a prevailing feeling of “being busy all the time”.

“We’ve become so fast-paced, so busy and so reliant on convenience that we’ve become a throwaway society,” he told AAP.

“We have 1.2 billion disposable cups used each year in Australia and it’s growing by at least 10 per cent annually and it’s in part because people don’t have the time to sit down and have a coffee.”

There’s no effective way for coffee cups to be recycled at paper recycling plants in Australia due to the waterproof polyethylene lining – a fact not widely known by consumers.

“People think because it’s paper they can chuck it in a recycling bin and not worry about it but it’s not that simple,” Mr Pascoe said.

But Simply Cups have a solution: a new technology to separate the plastic lining from the recyclable paper. Each can then be sent to soft plastic and paper reprocessing facilities respectively.

From Tuesday the business will be rolling out special collection bins at 200 7-Eleven stores across Australia and will be accepting all takeaway coffee and Slurpee cups.

They hope the initiative will save at least 70 million cups a year going to landfill.

“We’re encouraging everyone to take their coffee cups to 7-Eleven … or ideally to sit down and have their coffee at a cafe,” Mr Pascoe said.


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