Plastic Cups


Athens recycles clear, plastic #1 & #5 cups.

However, most other plastic cups and lids are not a desirable product for recyclers. Red party cups and some clear cups are plastic #6 (Polystyrene) and not acceptable in the recycling container.

Athens Services accepts in their recycling most #1-7 plastics. Some plastics are highly recyclable, including #1 bottles and clamshells, and #2 and #5 containers. Other plastics might be acceptable in the recycling containers, but may not have a market to be recycled.

To identify your products’ plastic type, look for the resin number inside the chasing arrows, usually located on the bottom of the item. The recycling symbol does not indicate if the product is recyclable or not.

Reduce, Reuse, Rewash

Bring your Own
– Reduce your impact by using your own cup at work or when getting to-go.
– Instead of buying new, check for online share groups

Hosting a party? 
– Instead of providing plastic cups, opt for reusables. If additional cups are needed, consider borrowing or renting dishes.
– Ask guests to BYOC,  bring your own cups. This means less washing of dishes for the host.
– Your plastic cups don’t have to be single-use!  Most are sturdy enough to be washed, stored, and reused again.

Ways to Reduce

Choose Recyclable Cups

The Ball Aluminum Cup can be reused or recycled with aluminum cans. Not only is it a more eco-friendly choice than plastic, it will keep your drinks colder, too.

Reusable Packaging For Businesses

Check out Upstream’s catalog of reusable packaging and unpackaging innovators that provide ways for consumers to obtain products, mostly food and beverages, in returnable, reusable, or refillable packaging – or they deliver products to consumers unpackaged altogether.

Did You Know?

Plastic #6 Is Difficult to Recycle

The United States throws away enough plastic cups and disposable dinnerware to wrap around the Earth three hundred times if stacked together. Why can’t these plastics cups be recycled? Solo cups are made from polystyrene, or plastic #6, which is not recycled by most cities.

Plastic in Our Bodies

Styrene, a component of polystyrene, has been found in 100 percent of human fat tissue samples dating back to 1986. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and suspected to be both cancerous for humans as well.