Ever wondered if recycling cups is better than composting? There's a lot of confusion surrounding compostable coffee cups and we're here to set the record straight by debunking 5 of the more common myths around bioplastic-lined coffee cups.
Myth #1: PLA plastic is a polymer and no better than regular plastic
BioCups are made with a bioplastic sourced from rapidly-renewable plant resources, like corn – not finite fossil fuels. Ingeo™ PLA (polylactic acid) requires 52% less energy to produce and has a carbon footprint 71.8% lower compared to regular plastic. It is designed for the circular economy to biodegrade into nutrient-rich compost in an industrial compost facility.
Myth #2: No industrial compost facilities accept BioCups
Whilst the UK doesn’t have a huge commercial composting infrastructure, there are compost facilities in the UK that turn BioCups, and other industrially compostable materials into nutrient-rich compost. Did you know that in the UK, we only recycle 0.25% of coffee cups used (Source)? With a bigger focus on the difficulties of recycling oil-lined plastic coffee cups, we are seeing a bigger demand for compostable cups and subsequently, composting facilities, and expect to see the availability and accessibility increase.
Myth #3: BioCups can’t be recycled in residential recycling
To recycle a traditional PE-lined coffee cup, recycling facilities must first separate the oil-based plastic lining from the paper cup - a notoriously difficult process, and the main reason why over 99% of coffee cups in the UK end up in landfill. However, BioCups can be composted along with coffee residue, other compostable packaging and food scraps in a growing number of locations - if you would like to find out more about composting your BioPak packaging, please get in touch!
Myth #4: BioCups don’t break down into quality compost
BioCups are independently certified to EN13432 European standards and when disposed of in an industrial compost facility they will completely biodegrade into a non-toxic, high-quality compost without leaving behind any microplastics. Shop our compostable BioCups and start composting today, and you could be returning nutrients to the soil in as little as 12 weeks!
Myth #5: BioCups compost in landfill
Ideally, no cups, foodservice packaging or food should go into landfill. The conditions in landfill are such that the process of biodegradation of organics (cup paper) will emit harmful methane gas – not nutrient-rich compost. However, if BioCups and regular coffee cups (PE cups) do end up there, BioCups have contributed less greenhouse gases and used less non-renewable energy when they were made, something regular cups cannot achieve.