Compostable vs. Recyclable Drinks Vending Cup

Coffee for Offices

When choosing services for your office or place of business, we’re sure you want to make the best choice for your employees and the earth. Here we wanted to discuss the pros and cons of two of your options in choosing cups – compostable, and recyclable. Which one is better for you and your business, and ultimately the environment?


Merriam-Webster defines recyclable as the following – “to make something new again”. Recycling mostly means that another use is found for the product, whether it’s the same as before, or it is broken down and made into something else. Cons: To recycle a paper cup, the plastic coating must be separated from the paper fibre. This process is time-consuming, and take longer than recycling paper alone. Pros: Despite the longer processing time, recyclable cups are more commonly used, and it is much easier to incorporate a recycling routine into your workplace, and waste management system. Plus, work done by the PCRRG has shown that separating the plastic coating is no longer considered as a barrier to recycling these types of cups.


Actually having the opposite meaning of recyclable, compostable means that rather than being reused, a product is made with the ability to “break down”. So, once it has been used the product is discarded in the compost heap, where it requires certain catalysts to break down, and may take up to 12 weeks to do so. Cons: Compostable waste needs to be managed alongside a dominant food waste stream, which can be a problem if you don’t already have one in place. It must then be segregated alongside the stream and sent to a commercial composting facility, of which there are only 50 in the UK. Restrictions for such waste are also detailed and strict. Pros: It’s considered to be more environmentally sound that recycling, which does produce by-products, and some waste.

So Which Is Better?

All will depend on your personal circumstances, and the set up already in place at your workplace. We have some useful points of discussion here if you still can’t decide. The increased costs of using compostable products may mean that it is not a viable option for you, in which case using recyclable products will still have a huge positive effect on the environment. Nexus Drinks has some excellent options for your workplace. Read more about our ethics, or simply get in touch now for more information.