If we can recycle paper and plastic in our blue bins, what’s with the big stink over Tim Hortons coffee cups?
City hall’s recent tirade against plastic Timmy’s lids has led many to assume that they’re the sole enviro-offenders in the coffee cup debacle. In fact, contrary to popular belief, neither the cups nor their lids are blue bin approved. Standard takeout cups are lined with a thin plastic coating, so they can’t be pulped with other paper products. And they can’t be thrown in with the plastic-coated milk cartons because the cups melt at a faster rate, making the pulp lumpy and unusable for recycled tissue paper. To handle the oddball material, paper mills would need to retrofit their facilities, and Toronto’s trash-sorting technology would require a $3-million upgrade; so far, neither Timmy’s nor the city is willing to cough up the cash. Until someone does, the 350 million cups that get tossed every year will continue to be lumped in with the Michigan-bound trash. Given Toronto’s commitment to a 70 per cent garbage diversion rate by 2011, that’s more than enough reason for the big brew-haha.
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