Coffee cups recycled

A stand-alone bin for takeaway coffee cups could soon be a common sight in offices across Sydney

This follows a successful four week trial in three office buildings in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to make the case for a dedicated takeaway coffee cup recycling facility. The Sydney trial was supported by the City of Sydney with a $17,500 grant.

Coffee drinkers showed their support for sustainable choices with 4,278 coffee cups were placed in the dedicated bins at a city law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills.

The trial tackled the impact of Australia’s coffee cup addiction on landfill. Few coffee drinkers realise all those discarded takeaway cups have serious environmental impacts, with the average cup taking 50 years to decompose.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney’s café culture was world renowned, with baristas producing thousands of excellent coffees every day, but the vast majority of those coffee cups go straight to landfill.

“Although the exterior of a takeaway coffee cup is paper, each cup has an interior liner made from plastic that takes around 50 years to break down in landfill,” said Moore.

“If we stacked all the coffee cups discarded annually in Australia, they would stretch from the Gold Coast right around the eastern and southern coast along Highway 1 all the way to Perth and back again.

“The trial of 780 workers from resulted in 1.4 coffee cups being recycled per worker each week. If this was replicated at offices across the City of Sydney area, we could divert more than 25 million coffee cups from landfill every year.”