Zero Waste Living: Minimising Coffee Cup Waste

Examining the current state of the world, it’s evident that the proliferation of single-use items, including the issue of coffee cup waste, is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable. Transitioning to a circular recycling economy is imperative to address these challenges and foster a more sustainable future.

To elaborate, delving into recycling practices is merely the initial step in grasping this concept. We are recycling plastic but very little of it is reused as we fall short of a ‘circular recycling economy.

The circular recycling economy is about recycling to the point that waste can be reused. Simply put it is repurposing raw material to keep up with material demand and our hunger to consume whilst maintaining a net zero waste that reduces environmental impacts.

This is a commonly shared goal and as a nation, we have started to see the road forward. Single-use plastic bags are gone, plastic straws are a thing of the past, and now single-use coffee cups are starting to phase out.

In terms of takeaway coffee cups, whilst most businesses have already made the shift to biodegradable coffee cups, many coffee drinkers are also doing their bit by using reusable coffee cups for their morning coffee. The key is that every effort made, no matter how small, has an impact on environmental sustainability.

What Is Changing for Takeaway Coffee?

New legislation is being introduced for fully biodegradable takeaway coffee cups. The reason this legislation has come about is due to the sheer volume of single-use waste that not only ends up in landfills but increases manufacturing demand and carbon emissions.

Let’s look at the numbers! 75% of all Australians enjoy the ritual of a morning coffee to start the day.

That equates to a staggering 19 million coffees! What’s more, is that 23% of these 19 million coffees are poured into a non-recyclable cup.

However, this will end due to the new single-use plastic rules coming in this year to remove plastic-lined cups and lids. There is good news though!

Most coffee shops have already transitioned to fully biodegradable takeaway coffee cups as they work toward supporting a cleaner Australia. The bad news is that they cost a little bit more, however, in the long term our city will benefit by creating a more sustainable economy.

Why Is a Coffee Cup a Waste Problem?

In Australia, the average coffee drinker will have 14 cups of coffee every week times that of 19 million coffee drinkers and then by 52 weeks in a year. Well, that is a lot of coffee and a lot of waste.

23% of this waste cannot be recycled due to the non-recyclable materials used. It is due to the exorbitant waste and the fact the plastic liner in most takeaway coffee cups can’t be organically broken down that new legislation is being introduced for fully biodegradable takeaway coffee cups.

Once legislation is fully implemented and embraced by businesses the takeaway coffee industry will have made a huge shift in becoming a sustainable industry. Let’s all do our bit and embrace the change for the good of all.

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Reviewed By

  • Steve Young

    Steve Young is the owner of Ezyskips Online. With years of experience in the skip bin hire industry, Steve has a practical understanding of waste management and its challenges. His hands-on approach ensures that the business consistently meets sustainability.