Government's paper coffee cups too dirty to be recycled

The vast majority of paper coffee cups from the Dutch government are too dirty to be recycled, according to waste processor Renewi. 85 million cups from the Ministries were therefore incinerated instead of recycled into toilet paper, the Telegraaf reports. 

According to Renewi, the cups were full of nuts, cans, cores and bags, so they could not be processed. "More than 90 percent did not meet our conditions," manager Arend Verhoeven said. The company reported this to the government, he added.

In 2018, the government commissioned TNO and Wageningen Food & Biobased Research to find the most environmentally friendly way to deal wit its disposable coffee cups. The researchers concluded that cardboard cups with a coating of non-fossil plastic, which would then be recycled into toilet paper and tissues, had the least environmental impact. The government therefore switched to these cups.

"Of course we are very disappointed, Mathijs Tax, spokesperson for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, said to the newspaper. "We thought the coffee cups from ministries and other government agencies were recycled. Now it appears that this is not happening."