Most so called paper cups have a no recyclable plastic liner.
Partially true, They Can be recycled but be just can't do it here as we haven't updated our recycling machinery and industry. So currently we cannot recycle coffee cups.
Are usable coffee cups really gaining any ground? Yes, As a cafe worker I can say roughly 1/10th of our take aways are now in Keep Cups or Reusable containers of some variety.
These are not paper cups. These are plastic lined containers with a waxed paper external wrap.
Very difficult to recycle. Not a simple matter of updating recycling machinery. The challenge is there is no market for this crap. It is not like it is clean HDPE (milk bottles) or PET (softdrink bottles) or Aluminium, steel or Paper or Cardboard, where there are markets that can actually reuse it.
These "paper" coffee cups are mixed crap. So they end up in landfill or mixed plastic markets where they have been exported and no one wants these.
The "cafe" industry should own the problem and provide their customers cups that either be reused or recycled. Just because a packaging salesman says they can be recycled, does not mean they can in a commercial sense. They never make deals with recyclers to see if they can take their "product".
This is a similar story with some stores going plastic straw free. Claiming they are replacing it with waxed paper straws or longer lasting fibre straws. These same alternative straws if they end up in the storm water system will similarly cause the very same issues as plastic straws with damage to wildlife. Better to have zero straws.
Don't let product sales people kid you that things are recyclable. They are simply saying we want to pass the cost of recycling to council ratepayers and not pass on a real cost to recycle things when we flog it to the store and pass it onto the customer at the point of sale. The reason is that it would make that item very expensive. Instead we let the problem go to "End of pipe" and then blame the council for not recycling an item that is commercially not recyclable.
There needs to be stronger product stewardship and we as consumers need to pay at the point of purchase the cost of recycling, instead of trying to pass it onto ratepayers, through councils.
This is why I think it is laughable we are blaming Councils for the failure of recycling in this council as they were sending material to china for recycling. Where did all the packaging originate from in the first place? We don't manufacture much these days (except food and certainly we do recycle clean beverage and food containers).
We should be saying, happy to buy my TV from China, but China you are responsible for the end of life of that TV and the packaging that came with it, so you need to charge me $1,100 for that TV instead of $1,000.
This is the only way we will gain the investment in this country for re-manufacturing.
Nup our pollies will squib and throw a few million dollars here and there as band aids and never fix the problem. They don't want to upset our trading partners.
So please don't throw out simply we need to update recycling. The question is, are we willing to pay
for that recycling?