Aspirational recycling or wishful recycling is when someone isn’t sure if something can be recycled so they put it in the recycling bin with hope that it will be recycled. These good intentions actually lead to a lot more contamination in recycling bins, when it doubt throw it out!
Coffee cups should be recyclable because they are just cardboard, right? They are mostly cardboard with a thin inner layer of plastic to prevent liquid from leaking. That thin plastic liner makes the cup not recyclable because of the difficulty separating the liner from the rest of the cup. Over 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year worldwide and 6.4 million trees are cut down to make the cup that holds your drink for 10-20 mins. Instead of a disposable cup opt for a reusable cup. Many coffee shops offer a discount for bringing in your own reusable coffee cup. A reusable coffee cup can save you a latte cash and, trees from being cut down.
What about the plastic cups your ice coffee comes in? Nope. Disposable plastic cups can get easily flattened during the collection and sorting process. Flattened disposable cups can get mixed in with paper contaminating the paper and making both the paper and plastic cup harder to recycle.
Styrofoam cups? Also, Nope! Styrofoam products are puffed up #6 plastic that is mostly air. It is difficult to remove the air and very little plastic is leftover making it a very cost-ineffective plastic to recycle.
Want to know what recyclables is accepted at you curb? Check out our recycling guide and look for a paper guide in your MUB bill.
Leave a comment below if you want to know if something is accepted in single-stream recycling in Morgantown