Recycling Melbourne: if there is one thing Melbourne really excels at it is…..well to be honest it is pretty good at lots of things such as food, sports, quality of life, shopping etc. However, it really has come on in leaps and bounds in coffee culture in recent years. In this blog we take a look at the issues caused by recycling coffee cups and why we can make simple changes that will reduce the issue.


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Recycling Melbourne – why you coffee habit can impact the environment


When you walk on any Melbourne (or Australian street)- you will meet people drinking from takeaway coffee cups. It is really a habit and practice that did not exist 20 or 30 years ago. The unfortunate thing is that the cups (which are designed to keep the coffee warm and your hands cool) – are made of various materials – and the combination makes them hard to recycle with existing systems. See our blog on what can be recycled as well as what is waste management.


As per ABC news: “Disposable coffee cups, which look like they are made of paper, have been found to contain plastics that do not break down and are damaging to the environment.”


“Coffee cups are estimated to be the second-largest contributor to litter waste after plastic bottles.”


“It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year.”


“Richard Fine, who founded biodegradable coffee cup manufacturer Biopak a decade ago, estimated up to 90 per cent of all disposable cups ended up in landfill, equating to around 60,000 kilograms of plastic waste per annum.”


Practical responses to the problem


The ABC suggests the following simple avoidance measures to prevent the issue – and of course prevention is better than cure:


There are four practical things that you can do to reduce coffee cup landfill that will not mean giving up your daily coffee ritual.

 – “Don’t take away — drink your coffee from ceramic cups at the cafe”

 – “Bring your own reusable cup”

 – “Refuse a lid — if you don’t need the lid don’t take one”

 – “Choose a cup made from rapidly renewable resources like managed plantation paper board and separate the lid from the cup when disposing of the rubbish”


Basically – think – do you actually need a take-away cup? This should also of course be considered when you are planning an event or conference as recycling can be trickier than you expect\.


See our blogs on rubbish tips Melbourne and recycle cardboard.


Check out our blog on developments that might let aluminium foil be used as a fuel – recycling bins Sydney.


Check out our blog that gives tips on how a cafe can recycled their used coffee grounds and save money.