12,864,379 CUPS RESCUED AND COUNTING

Cup Rescue Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know about cup recycling with 7-Eleven? Read our FAQs. 

General questions
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It is estimated that over one billion take-away coffee cups end up in landfill each year in Australia, with some estimating that the total of all take-away cups going to landfill is close to three billion annually.

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Take-away paper cups are lined with plastic to prevent liquid seeping through, which unfortunately prevents the cups being recycled through normal paper recycling facilities. The cups are technically recyclable, however paper recycling facilities in Australia have not been designed to process takeaway cups effectively.

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Take-away cups are difficult to separate from other paper products through the sorting process. Collecting cups as a separate waste stream reduces the need for manual sorting (which can be costly) and reduces contamination, ensuring all cups collected can be recycled. 

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7-Eleven has partnered with Closed Loop’s Simply Cups to lead the cup recycling revolution in Australia. As part of the initiative, 7-Eleven has installed Simply Cups units in over 620 7-Eleven stores so that take-away cups can be collected, processed and recycled. As pioneering partner 7-Eleven has supported the establishment of hundreds of locations across Australia (where disposable cups go), joining Simply Cups to save cups from landfill.

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7-Eleven is the second largest coffee destination in Australia. With our customers consuming over 70 million take-away cups each year, we acknowledge that this is contributing to the number of cups currently going into landfill. 7-Eleven has partnered with Simply Cups to take the lead on this issue in Australia and be part of the solution to make take-away cups recyclable.

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Please visit 7eleven.com.au for a list of over 620 participating 7-Eleven stores across VIC, NSW/ACT, QLD and WA. Hundreds of units are continuing to be installed in locations such as universities, office buildings and construction sites. Some sites already on board are Griffiths University, Sea Life, the Rail Crossing Removal Authority and numerous CBD buildings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. We also encourage other sites to get on board with Simply Cups as collection points.

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Any brand of paper-based coffee, Slurpee and other take-away cups can go in the units.

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Cups collected through Simply Cups are bailed and stored until sufficient volume has been collected for transporting; this helps reduce transport. Cups are then taken to a processing facility where they are combined with other plastic materials to create a resin suitable to upcycle into new products such as bench seats, kerbing and car stops.

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Since Simply Cups launched the program, over 7 million cups have been collected and many of these have been upcycled into new products. Over time ALL cups will be upcycled. To assist driving these circular economy initiatives we need the help of our consumers and community to increase these numbers by continuing to recycle their takeaway cups in-store.

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These plastic cups and lids are already recyclable and can be placed in co-mingled recycling bins (general household/commercial recycling).

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Yes, plastic straws can be deposited in the Simply Cups recycling units in 7-Eleven stores. Straws can be placed in the same receptacle as the coffee cup lids. 

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Plastic straws cannot be recycled because when they travel down the conveyor belt at the recycling facility, they are too small and fall through the cracks. This means that straws sit in landfill for years or pollute our oceans and waterways. 

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Straws are recycled with the lids and other waste plastic to make new products such as car park bumpers and furniture. 

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Absolutely. We hope that by partnering with Simply Cups to lead the cup recycling revolution in Australia we will inspire other companies and organisations to implement a Simply Cups program in their local community.

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We encourage any other organisations to join us leading the cup recycling movement and sign up for a collection service! Head to simplycups.com.au/get-involved for further details.

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That’s true! But we hope our customers can do their bit by saving up their cups at home or in their car, to deposit in our cup recycling units next time they’re in store – similar to how supermarkets do this with plastic bag recycling through REDCycle. We need your help to rescue cups from landfill get your workplace, school or other organisation on board and start collecting!

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7-Eleven aims to rescue as many cups (of any brand – not just 7-Eleven branded cups) as we can from landfill this year. . To achieve this, we need the community to get on board and set up collection points in office buildings and community locations. We have also chosen over 620 7- Eleven stores to have a cup recycling unit, ensuring a wide geographic spread, so most areas will have access to a cup recycling store nearby. More stores and other locations will be considered later this year, depending on what is most effective to achieve our target.

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We do! This is always the best option and we communicate this on our coffee machines. We have also introduced our own reusable cup, the rCUP, made out of recycled takeaway coffee cups. However, a problem of this size requires multiple solutions. We understand it’s not possible for all customers to use a reusable cup every time, hence why one billion coffee cups still go to landfill in Australia each year. We want to lead a behaviour change and help people dispose of their take-away cup responsibly by setting up a new recycling stream in Australia.

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The plastic lining is crucial to prevent the liquids from seeping through the paper. While it’s a great thought to have cups made from 100% paper, the cups wouldn’t be suitable for holding liquid. 

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Unfortunately, biodegradable cups usually require processing in a dedicated facility but most end up in landfill where they do not biodegrade correctly. This is why we believe our Simply Cups partnership is the best solution in Australia right now. When products are correctly described as compostable, this refers to their ‘technical suitability’ for composting under optimum physical, chemical and biological conditions. These conditions are only met at commercial composting facilities, however there is currently no service available to all Australians to allow them to compost the cup through these facilities. Biodegradable or compostable cups also take much longer to break down than other organic material (such as food and garden waste), so composting facilities don’t tend to accept them, which means the cups still end up in landfill, where they don’t break down as landfills don’t provide the optimum conditions for composting. 

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Some councils accept coffee cups in their kerbside recycling bin, however this is not currently available with all councils across Australia. We've partnered with Simply Cups to support a dedicated coffee cup recycling program that is more widely available and collects cups from workplaces, schools and events where they are used the most.             

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Yes. Simply Cups is committed to establishing a circular economy and supporting local recycling programs and initiatives. All cups collected through Simply Cups will be processed and recycled here in Australia.