4. You can’t recycle takeaway coffee cups
A common misconception is that takeaway coffee cups are simply made of paper and are therefore recyclable. This is incorrect. Coffee cups are not recyclable as they are made of multiple layers of different materials. They are lined with plastic so that they can contain liquid without disintegrating.
Coffee cups and other food service ware and packaging are often made with degradable, biodegradable, or compostable plastic and labelled as such. This does not mean they are recyclable. Compostable and recyclable are vastly different. If you put something compostable in your recycling it does not get separated out and composted – it gets sent to landfill.
Therefore, we encourage reuse instead!
Check out our story on how to avoid packaging at eateries.
5. Not all plastics are the same
Plastic can come in lots of different forms – there are 7 grades, or different types, of plastic. Sadly, not all plastic items can go into your kerbside recycling.
Our recycling system is designed for grocery/food packaging items only. Here in Wellington, you can recycle unsquashed rigid plastics with the recycling symbol and numbers 1, 2 or 5. These certain types of plastic include most plastic drink bottles, food containers and cleaning product containers.
We can’t recycle plastics with no number or a number 3, 4, 6 or 7 (these grades of plastics are difficult to recycle and there is a little to no market for them to be made into other things). Things like coat hangers, bubble wrap, and toys are all technically made of plastic but are not the type of plastics that are recyclable in our kerbside recycling system. Just because something is plastic does not necessarily mean its recyclable.
Find out more about what can go in kerbside recycling.
Watch out each Friday for a fun list of five great activities to do, places to explore, or things to discover in our awesome city.