FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT SIMPLY CUPS
How does Simply Cups work?
Simply Cups is Australia's first coffee cup recycling program, providing designated collection tubes and bins, as well as the services to collect the cups so businesses, schools and some events can close the loop on coffee cups. Find out more details about how our cup collections work.
We also sell coffee cups, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®, with one cent from every cup sold directly supporting the expansion of our collection program in Australia. Order your cups online.
Why do you collect cups separately?
Material recovery facilities (MRFs) have great technology to be able to separate different paper and plastic products, however coffee cups are a little more challenging. Some councils do accept coffee cups in their kerbside recycling bin, however this is not currently available to everyone. Simply Cups provides a dedicated coffee cup recycling program that is more widely available and collects cups from workplaces, schools and events where they are used the most.
Collecting coffee cups as a separate waste stream means we can ensure both the paper and plastic materials are recycled which in turn provides high grade paper and plastic materials better suited for end-use products.
Will the cups be recycled here in Australia?
Yes. We want to help establish a circular economy here in Australia and all cups collected through Simply Cups will be processed in Australia.
How do you recycle the cups?
We work with innovators to recycle and upcycle takeaway cups into recycled, and recyclable, products. Takeaway cups can be combined with other plastic materials to create a resin suitable to upcycle into new products with products already being created like rCUP® - the world's first reusable cup made from recycled coffee cups collected through our UK program - and kerbing and car stops which are being made locally in Australia.
Can I purchase products made from recycled coffee cups?
Yes! Buying products made from recycled material is the only way to support and sustain a circular economy. rCUP®, the world's first reusable cup made from recycled coffee cups is now available in Australia.
We can also make other products like seating, car stops, garden beds... the possibilities are endless. If you are looking for upcycled products to fit out your business, get in touch to discuss what we can do.
Why are you selling takeaway cups?
While there are still large volumes of takeaway cups being used in Australia each year, we want to provide a sustainable coffee cup option for businesses. Our Simply Cups branded coffee cups are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®, so you can be confident the paper is sourced from well-managed forests and controlled sources. In addition, one cent from every cup sold directly supports the expansion of our collection program in Australia.
Avoiding takeaway cups is the best option, and we're excited that rCUP®, a reusable cup made from recycled cups, is now available in Australia.
ABOUT CUP COLLECTIONS
Can anyone register for collections?
Cup collection services are available for workplaces, some events or schools across metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth; if you are located outside of these metropolitan areas please contact us to enquire about our regional services.
If you would like to start collecting cups at your workplace, school or event, please register your interest and a member of our team will be in touch.
What types of cups can be collected?
It doesn't matter the size or brand, where it comes from or how its been used; we accept any paper-based takeaway cup through Simply Cups. The cups don't even have to be clean, but we do ask that any liquid is tipped out prior to cups being placed in the collection tubes.
Can cup lids be recycled through Simply Cups?
Our collection tubes have been designed to collect cups only at this stage. The plastic lids can however be recycled through household or office comingle services; just place these in your workplace or school's yellow recycling bin and then pop the cup into the collection tube.
Why do you use plastic liners with your collection tubes?
While we ask customers to remove any liquid prior to placing cups into the collection tubes, small amounts of liquid can still remain in the cups. The plastic liners help to contain these liquids (rather than spilling out into the tubes and causing a smell). The liners also keep the cups stacked; a greater volume of stacked cups can be collected than if they were loose. The plastic liners are collected along with the cups and are recycled.
How can I be sure the coffee cups will be recycled?
We work closely with our partners to ensure all coffee cups collected remain in Australia and do not end up in landfill. Throughout each stage of the Simply Cups process we have reporting requirements to ensure accountability of all cups we collect. We also provide regular updates via our social media channels, and report back to our customers to provide transparency.
What happens to the cups once they are collected?
Cups collected through Simply Cups are bailed and stored until sufficient volume has been collected for transporting; this helps reduce transport. Cups are then taken to a processing facility where they are combined with other plastic materials to create a resin suitable to upcycle into new products such as bench seats, kerbing and car stops.
ABOUT THE COFFEE CUP ISSUE
Why are coffee cups a problem?
Australian's use an estimated one billion takeaway cups every year. Takeaway cups contain a polyethylene lining which prevents the liquid from being absorbed through the paper cup; this lining has made it difficult for cups to be recycled and as a result, millions are sent to landfill every year.
Are compostable or bio-degradable
cups a suitable alternative?
When products are correctly described as compostable, this refers to their ‘technical suitability’ for composting under optimum physical, chemical and biological conditions. These conditions are only met at commercial composting facilities, however there is currently no service available to all Australians to allow them to compost the cup through these facilities.
Biodegradable or compostable cups also take much longer to break down than other organic material (such as food and garden waste), so composting facilities don’t tend to accept them, which means the cups would still end up in landfill.
Avoiding takeaway cups, either by bringing your own cup or sitting down for a coffee in a café is the best option, however while takeaway cups are still an option, Simply Cups provides the avenue for these cups to be recycled in Australia.
Why can’t cups be made from 100% paper?
Takeaway cups contain a polyethylene lining to prevent the liquids from seeping through the paper. While it’s a great thought to just have cups made from 100% paper, the cups wouldn’t be suitable for holding liquid.
Why don't you just advocate for banning the use of takeaway cups?
Avoiding takeaway cups in the first place is the best option, whether this be through a reusable cup or sitting down in a cafe and drinking from a mug, and we encourage and promote these choices over takeaway cups.
While reusable cups are growing in popularity, many Australians are still using takeaway cups with an estimated one billion cups used every year in Australia, and we want to provide a sustainable solution that diverts takeaway cups from landfill.