Paper cup recycling

Recyclable or not?

Unfortunately, there is not a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer. It is not clear yet if disposable paper cups lined with plastics or bio-plastics can be recycled in Australia. Some states, such as ACT and WA indicate they can be placed in the recycling bin, while others, like SA, direct them to the general waste bin.

There is a lot of confusion in this area from industry and the consumer alike. Planet Ark talks about the issues succinctly here. They are sometimes accepted across New Zealand and Australia in the co-mingled recycling collections. Call your local Council to find out if they will accept paper cups.

The recycling industry is in further turmoil since China's policy to stop taking 24 types of solid waste from across the world in January 2018. Australia used to export 600,000 tonnes of recyclable waste to China annually. For us, this is the perfect time to look at commercial composting as a serious alternative. See our Compost Service page to arrange composting services in your area.

The APCO (Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation) is currently working on some guidelines at the national level.

Learn more

BioPak Founder Richard Fine on the solution to the recycling crisis. Could a natural system of material recycling that returns valuable nutrients into the system be the answer? With a growing number of businesses choosing to use compostable packaging and more commercial composters keen to accept these products along with food waste, businesses are able to go plastic-free and reduce their waste to landfill.

The South Australian Government is considering banning single-use plastic products such as coffee cups with plastic lining, straws, and cutlery. According to an Australian Senate inquiry, single-use plastics could be banned by 2023.

20th of December 2018

When Recycling Makes Cents

While the percentage of waste going to landfill has decreased, waste tonnage overall is growing with the economy and population. Recycling doesn’t change the amount of waste created. Instead, it minimises resources lost by diverting material from landfill and transforming it into a new material. Sounds good in theory, but two basic questions about recycling persist: is it really good for the environment and does it make economic sense?

Australians have a love affair with coffee, each year using an estimated 1 billion disposable coffee cups. That's approximately 2,700,000 paper cups tossed out every day.