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Are hot beverage cups from Starbucks and Dunkin’ recyclable?

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

In most locations in the U.S., the paperboard cups chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin‘ (plus numerous other restaurants) use for hot beverages aren’t recyclable.

It’s a common misconception that the cups can be recycled because they appear to be made mostly from paper fibers.

However, there’s a lining on the inside of them to help keep the liquid from leaking through that renders the cups non-recyclable in most municipalities.

In addition, there are varying levels that contact with food affects the ability of paper and cardboard to be recycled — for example, pizza boxes are commonly not well suited for recycling if they have soaked up grease from the pie.

There are select facilities that can recycle lined cups — but you should check with your local officials to verify. However, as of 2020, the cups are most likely non-recyclable.

Most lids of disposable cups are Number 6 plastic, which also can be recycled in select communities.