Frequently Asked Questions

About Simply Cups

How does Simply Cups work?

Simply Cups is Australia's First & Largest Cup Recycling Program, providing designated collections for businesses, schools, venues and events to close the loop on coffee cups. Find out more details about how our cup collections work.

Why can't you recycle cups in regular recycling?

Regular recycling bins (such as your home or work recycling bins) are collected by material recovery facilities (MRFs). Cups cannot be recycled like traditional paper or certain plastics therefore most MRFs will dispose of cups. This is because cups have a plastic lining that make it difficult to recycle within MRFs.

 

Simply Cups provides a dedicated cup recycling program that is widely available and collects cups from workplaces, schools, shopping centres and events - where they are used the most.

 

Closed Loop, our founding body, has been able to find creative ways to upcycle cups into products such as reusable coffee cups, saveBOARD - a sustainable alternative to plasterboard and other construction 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.

Simply Cups is also established in the UK. Simply Cups UK will process UK derived cups. Simply Cups Australia does not process any cups collected from the UK. 

How do you recycle the cups?

Our founding body, Closed Loop works with innovators to recycle and upcycle collected cups into recyclable products.

 

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 garden edging, kerbing and car stops which are being made locally in Australia. 

Can I purchase products made from recycled cups?

Yes! Buying products made from recycled material is the one of the many ways 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 or compostable 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 and lids.

 

Plastic lids can also be recycled through household or office co-mingle services; just place these in your workplace or school's recycling bin.

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, very 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 upcycled with cups and lids.

How can I be sure the cups will be recycled?

We work closely with our partners to ensure all 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 Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn 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 collected when our Collection Partners have sufficient volume for a collection; this helps reduce transport. Cups are then taken to a processing facility where they are combined with other plastic (mostly recycled) 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?

Are compostable or bio-degradable 

cups a suitable alternative?

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.

This is a tricky one. And the answer is; not always. 

Compostable and biodegradable can mean different things. When cups are 'commercially compostable' and 'home compostable' this generally refers to some sort of testing to ensure that the cup can be broken down in a set period of time (generally less than a year). Biodegradable refers to breaking down overtime without a set period of time (i.e. could be 5 years, could be 1000 years). 

If you do choose a compostable cup, it is only sustainable if you compost it correctly i.e. at a commercial composter or through home composting (depending on the type of compostable cup you would like to compost). 

Avoiding takeaway cups is the most sustainable alternative.

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. 

There are some cups on the market that are made with a plant-based oil or lining. Unfortunately these cups are not recyclable in kerbside recycling, however can be recycled through Simply Cups.

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.