Thursday, June 20, 2024

Simply Cups now recycling all paper cups

Simply Cups is expanding to recycle all paper-based cups, such as take-away soft drink cups, ice cream cups and chip cups.

Since May 2017, Simply Cups has been recycling coffee cups. But following a successful pilot program of accepting 7-Eleven Slurpee, smoothie and frappé cups, any kind of paper-based cup with a diameter less than 95mm can now be accepted, including compostable cups.

Cups collected through Simply Cups are recycled into raw materials that are then used as a “beneficial additive” for asphalt production, lightweight concrete and sustainable building materials.

Closed Loop Environmental Solutions, who run Simply Cups, are excited by the circular economy solutions Simply Cups is delivering, says Managing Director Rob Pascoe.

“Over the past six years, we’ve explored 18 different potential applications for recycled cups … This has involved an intensive and sustained collaborative effort with industry, academia and government,” he says.

“This collaboration has now matured into solid partnerships, and we now have the capacity to use more material than what we’re currently collecting from coffee cups.”

Simply Cups has been assessed and recognised as an ‘alternative destination’ under the Australasian Recycling Label program (ARL). Businesses that sell paper cups may apply to carry the Drop Off Only ARL on their cups to encourage greater recycling of paper cups.

“True to the circular economy, we want to see a reduction in the number of disposable cups used in the first place,” says Mr Pascoe. “However, we’re also aware that this isn’t always practical, so we think it’s important to have a landfill diversion solution in place while alternative systems develop. We want to ensure the resources used in these paper cups don’t go to waste, by redirecting them into products with a high value and a long life.”

Mr Pascoe adds: “The success of Simply Cups wouldn’t have been possible without the ongoing commitment from 7-Eleven, who have been a pioneering partner of Simply Cups for more than six years.

“We’re also very grateful for the funding provided by the federal government through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund over the past two years, which has allowed us to fast track some of these solutions.”

Simply Cups aims to collect and recycle 100 million paper cups by 2027.

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