First world problems…just chuck it in the bin

Some wombles are upset because a supposedly compostable and disposable coffee cup lid isn’t compostable

New Zealand cafes buying so-called compostable coffee cups are being “misled”, in what could be a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

Dunedin City Council waste manager Catherine Irvine said polylactide (PLA) disposable coffee cup lids were being sold as compostable when there were no facilities in New Zealand capable of composting them.

As a result, well-meaning cafes across New Zealand are paying a premium for the lids in an attempt to “do the right thing” but the lids can’t be recycled.  

A spokeswoman for the Commerce Commission said companies selling the lids could be breaching the Fair Trading Act.

She pointed to a 2013 case in which a rubbish bag company was fined $60,000 for making misleading claims about its bags being biodegradable.

If it is compostable why should there be a separate facility to process them, just heave them in the bin, and off to the landfill they go…to compost…over time.

Frankly appeasing the latte set with compostable lids is a stupid idea anyway. First world problems people…get over it.


– NewstalkZB

  • oldmanNZ

    Best way to compose rubbish like these is to burn it, the co get reuse by trees almost instantly… No farting around waiting for 20 years to decomposed.

  • Hard1

    Bring your own multi-use lidded cup. Problem solved. Brain fixed.

  • Second time around

    The polymer is biodegradable but takes a long time to get going at normal temperatures. It is about as biodegradable as a pork bone, and while there is no instant gratification from watching a pork bone in a garbage dump, they do disappear in the fullness of time.

  • Andinz

    Hard to understand the Dunedin City Council waste manager Catherine Irvine claim that there are “no facilities in New Zealand capable of composting” PLA’s. I read this “The degradation of PLA in soil is slow and that takes a long time for degradation to start” here
    So if she is contemplating a fund-raising event by suing the makers of coffee-cup lids she needs to be fully apprised. I am sure that there is soil in Dunedin. The length of time involved might be longer than it takes to drink a latte but that is not the complaint we are reading about.