Good grief now coffee cups are destroying the planet – how did I not know this?

Don’t we all wake up to be a better person that we were yesterday.

One great way to do that is to reduce our footprint on the planet. Yet it appears we are all so misinformed and as the ABC brilliant new show “War on Waste” showed last night far too many of us (including me) are under the misconception coffee cups can be recycled. If they can it sure as hell isn’t happening in our country.  OMG the dairy industry would go broke ( or even broker) if our love affair with coffee was impacted

coffee cup left on footpath.jpg

A recent Choice article informed us

The well-intentioned caffeine lover who tries to do the right thing and recycle their cup may be doing more harm than good. The plastic waterproof lining of many paper coffee cups means they can’t be recycled with collections of paper and cardboard and may actually contaminate a load, causing the whole lot to be sent to landfill.

Factor in the hefty use of resources that goes into producing them, and coffee cups are landing a triple blow to our environment.

Now I do have a Keep Cup – in fact I have had half a dozen of them. I am paranoid about washing them up ( because I know refrigerated milk even little bits of it go off very quickly) and I leave them places – well at least they can be recycled or the glass bits can


Now we all know about disposable nappies. At least I dont have to feel guilty about this one. I soooooo remember all that soaking and washing and drying and folding of nappies that just having one child demanded. So totally understand the appeal of disposable nappies BUT here’s a staggering number – every day 5.6 million nappies are used in Australia.

After they’re used, 5.6 million nappies go to landfill where they sit and release greenhouse gases for approximately 500 years until they break down. The plastics, the fibre, the super absorbent polymers (SAPs) they contain that could be recycled are buried as well.

But as I approach that age where incontinence may become a problem it appears my footprint could go up considerably

With incontinence products, that number jumps to 7 million a day – Note to self Lynne remember to keep working on those pelvic floor exercises

Aged care centres estimate that a massive 40 per cent of their waste is absorbent hygiene waste (AHW), and with our aging population, tonnages are growing fast. Often this waste also contains medications that have passed through the body.

Then there is the evil wet wipes – I must admit I thought these were the bees knees until I heard people were flushing them down toilets. Green star for me I have never done that

Just how bad are they – a report by the Marine Conservation Society revealed that wet wipes have become the fastest growing cause of pollution on our beaches. Its volunteers are picking them up from our coastline at a rate of 35 filthy wipes per kilometre.

If there’s a part of our body or house that might harbour dirt, we’ll happily buy a wipe marketed specifically to sweep it away at the flick of a wrist

Wet wipes have grown in popularity – from kitchen and toilet wipes to moistened towelettes for keyboards.  Meanwhile they are clogging up our sewers, creating floods of noxious waste, and also triggering outbreaks of serious allergies. Read more here 

Now the Relivit people are on a mission  to find a better solution.

As they acknowledge disposable nappies are here to stay and it’s easy to see why – they’re convenient, effective and require no washing. Let’s also make them sustainable by reclaiming the materials and reducing waste by more than 95 per cent.

If you would like to see nappies, incontinence pads and feminine hygiene products reclaimed from landfill and recycled please pledge your support on the Relivit  Facebook page.

Goodness gracious me its time  somebody made being good a lot easier than it is now


Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

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