Unlike most paper items, paper cups can’t be recycled because they’re actually coated in plastic—as little as five percent per cup. That’s why they’re able to hold liquid without leaking all over the place. It’s also why they don’t get broken down into pulp and turned into recycled paper. While some communities do recycle materials like paper coffee cups, they’re very rare. And only getting rarer- recyclecoach
All paper cups are lined with a thin coating of plastic that can’t be easily separated during the recycling process. The most innovation on paper cup disposal has come in the field of composting, and that is still limited at best- Earth911
Paper-based cups are usually lined with a membrane of polyethylene (plastic) to make them waterproof, but it means they are not recyclable alongside paper or cardboard, or biodegradable- Choice
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