Paper cups recognised as recyclable

Tuesday, 09 May, 2023

Paper cups recognised as recyclable

Simply Cups has been officially recognised as an Alternative Destination under the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), giving instructions on how to recycle paper cups at one of the 1500 cup collection locations in Australia.

Paper cups, including coffee cups, cannot currently be recycled in traditional kerbside recycling and are sent to landfill.

The ARL provides guidance about which bin packaging should be placed in and includes an Alternative Destination option for specialised recycling programs, such as Simply Cups.

All paper cups will be able to carry the ARL when arrangements for this are finalised mid-late 2023. Cups recycled through the program are made into a variety of products, such as asphalt, lightweight concrete products and as a plasterboard substitute.

Recognition of the program as a valid recycling solution via the ARL Program is a boost to the expansion of the ARL, which is becoming a trusted guide on recycling.

Managed by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), the ARL requires recycling organisations to verify that their packaging is recyclable and demonstrate that there is a sufficient network of recycling points that are easily accessible.

It requires that the solution is available for all brands and types of coffee cups. APCO CEO Chris Foley said APCO collaborated with government, packaging manufacturers, retailers and recyclers to address the recycling confusion.

The 2022 Consumer Insights Report revealed that the ARL helps Australians to recycle more and that they want to see it on more packaging.

According to Closed Loop Environmental Solutions Managing Director Rob Pascoe, the company is thrilled to have received ARL recognition for the Simply Cups program.

Having started in 2017, Simply Cups has over 1500 collection points nationally, half of which are accessible to all members of the public via Closed Loop’s partnership with 7-Eleven and shopping centres and supermarkets. Cup recycling is also starting to be more actively provided in offices, schools, hospitals and at construction sites.

Angus McKay, CEO at 7-Eleven, said the partnership has helped save more than 30 million cups from landfill, which may increase with ARL recognition.

Closed Loop continues to explore additional innovative applications for recycled cups as well as other challenging packaging items.

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