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New Recycled Material: Single-use Coffee Cup Lids!

New Zealanders use 295 million single use coffee cups each year. All of these end up in landfill or the environment - even if they say recyclable or compostable on them! This is due to a lack of facilities that accept the materials and a lack of disposal labelling regulations. Consumers are (rightly) often confused by this and we are working to educate people about these issues this Plastic Free July.

We have launched a range of earrings made from recycled ‘compostable’ plastic lids that are laser cut into various designs!

A lot of companies are using ‘commercially compostable, plant-based plastics’ which are often no better, sometimes even worse, than traditional petroleum plastics. This is because there are very few commercial composting facilities in NZ that accept these due to the grey area around the components.

These earrings work as a vehicle to talk to others about these issues and we have surveyed customers and found that 86% of people use their recycled plastic earrings to talk to others about environmental topics that they care about.

A recent Consumer NZ investigation called out Air New Zealand for their misleading use of compostable coffee cups on their flights. The government has just rolled out the second wave of the ‘hard-to-recycle-plastics ban’ that includes single use plastic produce bags and plastic straws, but coffee cups will still be used around the country.

For coffee lovers and environment lovers alike, a reusable coffee cup may be a way to spark joy and relieve guilt!

Quick Facts! 

  • 'Compostable' plant based plastics pose issues for commercial facilities because there are no regulations around what constitutes a plant based plastic and they are often made of materials that provide no nutrients to the final compost products.  
  • Coffee cup lids are not easily recyclable due to their complex composition and contamination with beverage residue. 
  • Due to their small size and mixed material composition, coffee cup lids pose challenges for recycling facilities and generally head to landfill throughout New Zealand. 

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