we’re constantly reviewing our sustainable practices across the entire Locale business, not just on the coffee side, but in everything we do. our aim is to never settle for what’s currently on the market & always be open to new & innovative products as they’re created. as part of this review we made the decision to convert 100% of our wholesale takeaway cups to Detpak’s award-winning RecycleMe program & rolling it out with our café partners.

single use cups & lids have long been a key issue for many within the coffee industry. because of the plastic inner lining that keeps the coffee from soaking into the outer paper layer, they aren’t easily recyclable. in fact, over 1 billion disposable cups end up in landfill each year – you can see why this was one area we were keen to reduce our impact!

while we’d ideally love everyone to be taking reusable coffee cups with them wherever they go, we know this isn’t always realistic or achievable. so, if people are going to continue to use disposable cups & lids, what can we do to reduce the impact it has on the environment? enter RecycleMe!

endorsed by Planet Ark, this solution checked many boxes for us. the system guarantees all correctly disposed RecycleMe cups and lids collected will be recycled. the paper reclaimed from the cups can be recycled into other paper products up to seven times, making the most of this resource and saving trees in the process.

what about compostable cups?

we investigated so many different options as we looked into our takeaway cup footprint. some solutions just didn’t meet our criteria. we felt some compostable cups may be doing more harm than good when they weren’t composted correctly, breaking down over many years & releasing harmful greenhouse gasses into the environment in the process. some had no solution for the lid or required the lid be disposed of separately by the consumer (pretty unrealistic).

most required specific commercial facilities for them to be able to breakdown, leading many compostable cups to end up in landfill anyway. it’s estimated that less than 1% of cups ended up in commercial composting facilities…say whaaaat? while we do believe composting is a viable alternative to waste ending up in landfill, it didn’t solve our biggest concern; the cup is still single-use. we ultimately felt that paper is too valuable a resource to be discarded after only one use when there are other alternatives available.

are the lids recycled too?

glad you asked! all lids collected will also be recycled into plastic products like picture frames. they’re able to do this by providing a complete end-to-end solution. the specially designed bins make it easy to manage the separation of the lid from the cup & dispose of any excess liquid in one, convenient place.

the RecycleMe cups feature a next-generation lining, that allows them to be recycled easily, using existing infrastructure. to fight the war on waste, Detpak have teamed up with companies like Shred-X (in Aus) who collect the cups & lids from the registered cafes, remove the inner lining from the cup & send them off to existing paper pulping facilities for recycling. this also ensures that 96% of each cup can be recycled (everything but the lining)!

can recycleme cups be placed in my normal recycling?

unfortunately not! councils have a long way to go to catch up with these programs. when any takeaway cup is placed in kerbside recycling, they’ll eventually end up in landfill as the recyclers can’t tell the difference between these & every other cup out there. the system can only work when the cups & lids are disposed of in designated RecycleMe bins, which can be found in many venues around Australia & counting. this is where we feel education is the key; us as roasters, along with our café partners, are vital in educating the end customer to firstly, identify the cups as RecycleMe, and secondly, to hold onto their cups & return them to the collection stations whenever possible.

after collecting the cups & bins from the in-store collection stations, Shred-X provide venues with a certificate tallying the number of cups captured & the impact these cups will have environmentally, through recycling. according to a study conducted by the Environmental Paper Network, if just half of the paper cups in Australia & NZ were recycled, we would be saving 496 trees per day! this is a program we strongly believe in & one which we hope will further empower cafes & consumers to take responsibility for their waste.

i want to help - how can i make sure my cup doesn’t end up in landfill?

always check the bottom of your takeaway cup for the RecycleMe logo. all cups with the logo can & should be recycled! hold onto your cup & lid and dispose at any one of the collection stations. the bins generally have info regarding correct disposal (empty any excess liquid, remove the lid and place the lid & cup into their labelled slots). the bins will later be emptied & taken to the appropriate facilities for recycling.

You can find a full list of venues with RecycleMe bins on Detpak’s website here. 


want to learn more about our other sustainability actions & initiatives? hit our sustainability page for more!