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Ireland Throws Away 22,000 Coffee Cups Every Hour


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New research has found that 22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour.

Recycling List Ireland said this translates to as many six single use coffee cups per second, 528,000 a day - or 200 million every year.

Single use coffee cups are not currently recyclable and can't be put in recycling bins.

While many disposable cups carry a recyclable logo, the actual cup is not recyclable.

The recyclable part could just the rigid plastic lid or he cardboard sleeve.

Declan Breen, Recycling List Ireland Dr Shane Bergin, physicist and assistant professor in Science Education at UCD’s School of Education and Nadia Sakni, presenter, at recording of Recycling List Ireland’s online campaign | Image: recyclinglistireland.ie

Pauline McDonogh of Recycling List said: "These cup are lined with plastic polyethylene which is fused to the paper making the cups waterproof but also difficult to recycle.

"Of course single use cups are also contaminated by the drink they contained, which is yet another reason why they cannot be added to the bin of clean and dry recyclables."

"Right now the only way to combat this waste is to reduce our dependency on these single use coffee cups".

They're appealing to people to consider using a ceramic cup in their favourite café, or bring along a re-useable cup for their take away drink.

More than 1,000 cafés are giving discounts to consumers with a reusable cup. Participating cafés can be found here.


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