Lismore community urged to discard takeaway and choose to reuse

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Lismore City Council has developed a range of colourful reusable cups for community and staff in a bid to reduce waste and eliminate the ubiquitous takeaway coffee cup.

Earlier this year, Council resolved to show leadership in the use of reusable coffee cups and water bottles at all Council facilities, reducing the huge amount of these items polluting the environment.

Council now has its own reusable cup range in 12 vibrant colour combinations – sporting the slogan ‘Choose to Reuse’ – and a line of water bottles is in the pipeline.

The cups are provided to all Council staff members or can be purchased by community members for $15 at the Lismore Revolve Shop and at the Save ‘n’ Waste Store in Shopbaby at 126 Woodlark Street, Lismore.

Council is encouraging cafes and coffee shops to get involved and order their own Choose to Reuse range. Council can provide the artwork free and businesses can entice customers by offering a discount for those who bring their own cup.

“Imagine if every café and coffee shop got involved and Lismore became a takeaway cup free city,” General Manager Gary Murphy said.

“Lismore is at the forefront of so many sustainability initiatives, and this is another very simple and practical thing our businesses and residents can do to make a real difference.”

The Northern Rivers is one of the few areas in Australia where coffee cups are recycled rather than sent to landfill, but the system is not 100% perfect. The cups are processed and the paper and the plastic coating are separated. The paper pulp that makes up 95% of the cup is recycled and turned into new paper products while the small percentage that makes up the coating is waste.

Northern Rivers councils are also unique in that they recycle polystyrene and soft plastics, which is not commonplace in most council areas.

“A lot of manufacturers are now using a plant-based product to replace the plastic coating in takeaway cups, but change is slow,” Gary said.

“While Lismore recycles the bulk of these takeaway coffee cups, it is not a get out of jail free card. The water and energy used to make the cups is still creating a major environmental problem worldwide. There is no substitute for reusable cups and bottles.

“We urge businesses to come on board and we implore residents to purchase a reusable cup and make a commitment to say no to takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles. We urge everyone in Lismore to choose to reuse.”

According to the manufacturer of Council’s new reusable cups, every minute over one million disposable cups are discarded, and each cup breaks even after 15 uses.

News Updates