I’ve banged on before about why you should give up your takeaway coffee cup habit highlighting the fact the BPA in the lids is poisoning you. Of course, there is also the environmental aspect, which has bothered me for years. But I didn’t have the data on it all. Now I do. Perfect timing. I’ve recently been going a bit spare that loved ones around me (and most of the world) just don’t get the Take Your Own Cup message. 

coffee snow

Image via: theberry.com

It turns out, disposable takeaway coffee cups are not recyclable.

ABC’s 7:30 Report on Wednesday night exposed a bunch of factoids that provide me with some extra ammo. Click on the link to catch up on it.

Most of the planet thinks the cups are recyclable. They’re not…

…because the cups are lined with plastic which is not biodegradable. This plastic sticks around long enough to out-live us. Disposable DOES NOT mean recyclable.

Here’s the bit that should shock:

Takeaway coffee cups are the second biggest contributor to waste after plastic bottles.

That’s because Australians use approximately 1 billion disposable coffee cups a year. The stats would be comparable in other Western countries, I’m sure.

90% of these end up in landfill.

This equates to around 60,000 kilograms of plastic waste per annum.

The plastic that doesn’t make it to the landfills ends up in the environment, aka our oceans and the stomachs of our fishy friends, where

“It’s becoming the worlds biggest global pollution problem,” 

 says Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

Enough said. No more excuses. Sit in and drink your coffee (hey, get a bit mindful). Take your own cup.

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Lana

    I’d definitely do this if my local cafes would too. The cost of the cup and lid is built into the price of a cup of coffee, and while some cafes give customers a discount if they BYO their own cup, many don’t.

    • Katrina

      I understand what you think but that is an excuse. I would love to have a discount for using my reusable cup but not getting a discount doesn’t stop me making the effort. Because I understand that the price of using a disposable cup is higher than the price of buying my own reusable cup. Price does not equal money. The concept of price is much more complex.

      • Sophie

        Yes, we all have to stop making excuses. Putting our own convenience before the wellbeing of the planet has to stop.

  • Zee

    Maybe a company like KeepCup could partner with Sarah Wilson and together design a limited edition KeepCup sold at a discount to the readers of this blog! That could be fun! 🙂

  • Thanks for highlighting this – I always my plastic lid in the recycling bin. Just assumed it would be recyclable!

  • Amanda Gabrielle

    I bought our keep cups from the zoo! Most of their proceeds go to helping animals, and as a member I received 15% discount – win win and win I reckon 😉

  • Lynda

    I missed the 7.30 report thanks for highlighting this as awareness is key. Powerful data. Something we all have the power to change. Hopefully, coffee shops owners will also highlight this issue. Together with a bit more thought we can help our fishy friends and our beautiful environment.

  • San

    Is this the case in the UK as well?