Despite what you might think, takeaway cups are not recyclable in Ireland. This means that approximately over 200 million takeaway cups are dumped in landfill or incinerated in Ireland each year.
What about Recyclable or Compostable Cups?
Recycling of takeaway cups is possible, but it’s notoriously difficult. This is because the cups are a composite of plastic and paper, which are very hard to separate and separation of the two materials is necessary in order to recycle each one.
There are a few companies in Ireland offering compostable cups and although a better option than standard disposable coffee cups these cups need to be segregated to a compost bin in order for them to compost/ break down. If not, they can end up contaminating recycled paper streams, or end up in landfill waste.
Waste of Resources
Apart from logistical problems with recyclable or compostable takeaway cups, both of these option use up valuable resources for what is essentially a single-use item. Both require ‘virgin’ paper, i.e. paper from forests rather than recycled paper, and the full amount of energy used in making, transporting and recycling / composting them can never be recouped.
If we use reusable cups we can save all those resources! Please join our campaign to reduce takeaway coffee cups. Take Action!