How to correctly dispose of these 4 commonly used items -coffee cups, tissues, bottle tops, pens

How to correctly dispose of these 4 commonly used items -coffee cups, tissues, bottle tops, pens

Welcome to another episode of 🍩 Donut Waste Time, Save the Planet! 🌏 Today we talk about how correctly dispose of these 4 commonly used items -coffee cups, tissues, bottle tops, pens. 

How to correctly dispose of Coffee Cups

Single-use coffee cups go to the general waste bin. Why? Because they’re most likely made out of paper, and they have a plastic lining inside so they don’t melt in your hand while you drink. These two materials can’t be separated and are already contaminated.
The lid of your cup also goes to the general waste bin.
Why? Because it’s most likely made out of plastic which is black and it’s now contaminated. (Black plastic doesn’t get recycled at all as the optical sorter in MRF doesn’t see black.) Your coffee lid now has a fluff from your frothy flat white or cappuccino on it, so it’s very much contaminated. Landfill both. Don’t even think about it. Unless you want to do better.

How to do better

Well, you could invest in a keep cup and reuse it over and over again. They can last quite a few years until you forget it somewhere or a Cafe loses your lid. (Believe it or not, it had happened to me before.)
You could also hire a RENOME cup or Go2Cup to avoid single-use wastage. That’s if your local offers these nifty solutions. (If not, why not enlighten them?)
Or how about you sit down and relax with your friends or by yourself. That’s if COVID is not around like here in lucky Perth.

How to correctly dispose of tissues

Tissues belong to the general waste bin. That’s right. Why is that? Well, because it’s most likely contaminated by your corona, whatever virus you put on it.
Imagine someone’s trying to actually recycle it or make something out of it like newspapers or toilet paper. Unlike clean paper which can be recycled and goes to the yellow top bin, tissues can’t be recycled once used.

How to do better

Put them into your compost. (Or into neighbour’s one via ShareWaste.)
You can also make sure you’re buying bamboo or recycled paper already which is more friendly to our planet.
Alternatively, you could revert back to a good old-fashioned handkerchief which you can reuse over and over.

How to correctly dispose of bottle tops

These guys belong to the general waste bin. That’s right. Why? Because they are too small to be recycled in the Material Recovery Facility. They will simply fall through the process of recycling and become a contamination. I’m sure you already know that they can’t stay on the bottle as they are made out of different plastic. 😉

So what can you do? Take them to any of the Containers for Change refund point. These points are actually obliged by law to take them if they come from eligible containers covered by the scheme. And if you happen to have the ones from your milk and other non-eligible containers, you can still try and take them too.

Alternatively, when you collect enough of them, Claw Environmental in Welshpool now accepts them free of charge.

How to do better

Avoid buying bottled drinks where you can. Perth’s tap water is perfectly drinkable and soft drinks are not good for your health anyway. Buy a quality stainless steel water bottle and carry it around like a statement of your coolness.

How to correctly dispose of pens

Pens are also destined for the general waste bin. Why? Again, they are too small and they will most likely become contamination in the process. Also, each of them is made out of different types of materials – from plastic to metals or paper.

So what can you do? Collect them from your home and workplace and take them to a specialized recycling place like TerraCycle. They have several drop-off points around town which you can search on their website.

How to do better

You could consider going digital and purchasing a paperless notepad such as Rocketbook. That way you’ll not only save pens from going to landfill but also our trees.

And that’s it.

If you have any specific questions about specific items you’re unsure about how to recycle, please comment below.

Donut Waste Time, let’s Save the Planet!

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