Reuse, recycle fall beverage cups


Ken Hoyt, Staff Writer

As the crimson, amber, and golden leaves fall in Fort Collins, an enchanting feeling fills the air. Many find themselves craving their favorite drink of the season to feel the fullness of the autumn experience. This could be a pumpkin spice latte, an apple crisp oat milk macchiato, or perhaps my personal favorite, a matcha latte topped with pumpkin spice cold foam.

Once you finish your tasty autumn beverage, you are left with an empty cup, and now that it is the prime of fall drink season, it is crucial to be mindful of what to do with your cup after consuming your drink because that drink container makes a difference.

“Recycling is just one piece of the larger impact that we can have in changing our climate future and ensuring that we have a sustainable and resilient economy, climate, and future for Fort Collins,” Senior Sustainability Specialist Ashley Pace explained. 

Hot Cups

There is bad news and good news. The bad news: hot cups are usually not recyclable, including at Starbucks. Although they are made of paper, they are lined with a type of plastic (polyethylene) to prevent leakage. Because of this lining, they are not recyclable. The good news: the cardboard sleeves that protect your hands from the heat of the cup are recyclable! 

Cold Cups

Starbucks cold cups are recyclable curbside and at drop-off centers in the city of Fort Collins. We know this because of the “chasing arrows” triangular recycling symbol containing the number 5 inside it on the bottom of the cup. In order to recycle it, the cup must be clean and dry. Food and liquids are never recyclable and must be kept out of the recycling bin. 

Reusable Cups

The best way to reduce your carbon footprint and practice sustainability is by avoiding single-use plastics and materials and replacing them with reusable alternatives. At Starbucks, you get 25 stars on the Starbucks app for every order made in your clean, reusable cup. You can bring one from home or purchase one at the store.