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Oh No! You Can’t Recycle Your To-Go Cup of Joe

So many of us enjoy a cup (or 3) of coffee in our morning routine, but did you know that most single-use coffee cups aren’t recyclable? Tasting Table, the food-centered digital media company, recently did a deeper dive on why single-use cups usually aren’t recyclable. In the article, Republic Services explains that single-use coffee cups fail recycling criteria because the paper cups come coated with plastic to prevent leaks, which means they belong in the trash.

Have no fear though – while the hot to-go coffee cups aren’t recyclable, certain parts of single-use cups are recyclable!  The paper sleeves and plastic lids can be recycled, as well as the plastic cold cups for us iced coffee aficionados. Check out this graphic to understand what parts of single-use cups are recyclable.

With the goal of living a more sustainable and eco-friendly life, many consumers have begun carrying reusable cups to reduce their own usage of single-use cups. And many large coffee retailers will fill clean reusable cups with whatever has been ordered, but they are looking for additional solutions, including making compostable to-go coffee cups available in the future.

When it comes to recycling, everyone plays a part. Visit for tips to become a better recycler.

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