Spring is here, and it's almost time to retire your reusable thermal mug to the top shelf. But now you're faced with a new single-use dilemma: the plastic iced coffee cup.
Luckily, these cups aren't as hard to recycle as the hot drink cups, which are made from coated paper that requires a special machine for recycling.
Starbucks iced coffee cups are made from plastic #5 (polypropylene), and many curbside programs won't accept this type of plastic. However, there are other take-back options through independent companies.[search type="recycling" what="plastic #5" whatlabel="plastic #5"]
Preserve's Gimme 5 program is one of the easiest ways to recycle plastic #5 products, like these iced coffee cups. Just look for the Preserve Gimme 5 bins - available at many Whole Foods Markets - and drop them in to guarantee proper recycling.
If you're not close to a Whole Foods Market or other collection bin location, cups (and other plastic #5 items) can also be mailed directly to Preserve.
Starbucks also offers a 10-cent discount on your drink of choice when you use a reusable mug or cup. This may not seem like much, but the savings can account for almost 10 free drinks in a year for those coffee lovers who enjoy a daily fix.
By 2015, Starbucks plans to have recycling available in all locations. Additionally, 100 percent of its famous white cups will be reusable or recyclable.