The great coffee cup recycling challenge


“A typical New Zealand-made coffee cup begins life in the forests of Russia, after which a Finnish company coats the paper in plastic and ships it to Henderson, West Auckland, where Huhtamaki shapes it into takeaway cups.

The caffeine-loving public gets through about 180 million disposable cups a year, including ones made overseas, says Huhtamaki market manager of food service Jeff Mosen. Most of the cups end up in landfills.

The sheer waste would make our forebears turn in their graves, says Meredith Graham, education and marketing manager at recycling company Visy.

“They’d say, ‘Really? You buy coffee when you’re out and you throw the cup away?”‘

Enter a new co-operative effort between the country’s biggest takeaway coffee seller BP, Visy, Huhtamaki, Coca-Cola and public recycling cheerleader Love NZ, to encourage people to recycle the cups.”

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