Australia’s Soaring Caffeine Habit Causes Landfill Problem


Australian’s caffeine habit. Photo:Cristy

Australia’s caffeine habit keeps growing and every day hundreds of thousands of Australians put their coffee cup into a bin, causing some environmentalists to warn that disposal cups are becoming a major pollution crisis.

Most of coffee shop in Australia are using disposable coffee cups which look like they are made of paper, but they have a plastic lining that does not easily degrade and is harming the environment.

Environmentalist Tim Silverwood, said even though the paper may degrade the plastic will stick around for a really long time.

According to a 2016 Australia’s Department of Environment Report, coffee cups are reckoned to be the second-largest contributor to litter waste after plastic bottles. 

Britain is also a nation of caffeine addicts and is facing the same pollution hazard. Students at Central Saint Martin’s school of art have produced a ‘battle bus’ to raise awareness of the problem which is covered in 10,000 takeaway cups.

As well as clogging up landfills the plastic in disposable coffee cups can become a bigger hazard as it breaks down and enters the water system. Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens senator, has published a speech about the hazards posed by plastics to marine creatures.

Challenges of Recycling cups

Recycling cups are being made and try to replace the biodegrade disposable coffee cups, but there are obstacles have prevented the recycling progress.

The price of making recycling cups are high and most of the cafe owners are not willing to undertake that cost.



The Solutions

In the case of not giving up our daily coffee routine, everyone should take their responsibility to reduce coffee cup landfill.


People normally buy a takeaway coffee and then rush to work in the morning, but start from now maybe we should make a change. 

We can wake up a bit early and sit in cafe to enjoy your coffee from ceramic cups instead of takeaway.

Also, people can converting their habit from paper cups to a reusable cups and refuse a plastic lid which are a great way to save our environment.

Even using the disposable paper coffees cups, try to select a cup made from rapidly renewable resource such as managed plantation paper board and separate the lid from the cup before disposing of the rubbish.


Households, business, food and drink outlets, and offices in Australia have their social responsibility to change behaviors to reduce their coffee cup waste.

United Kingdom is also working to reduce coffee cup waste and the program corporate with food and drink outlets that Australia could learn from.

The biggest coffee chain Costa Coffee in United Kingdom is to publish a recycling scheme.

The recycling scheme aims to reduce the millions of used disposable cups that end up in landfill. Costa Coffee’s customers will be encouraged to leave or return their paper coffee cups to a Costa store.


Government has a responsibility to educate their citizens about the landfill pollution and encourage them to use re-usable alternatives for recycling products.

Also, government could charge, increasing taxes or deposits on the use of non-recycling products.

1 min watch how takeaway coffee cups piling up in landfill


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