Are Bubble Tea Cups and Straws Recyclable?

Bubble tea offers endless opportunities for customisation and creativity that results in some truly wild creations. For a glimpse in to the world of bubble tea creations see our post on the Top 5 Bubble Tea Instagram Hashtags to follow. But with all this popularity comes an issue.

Are bubble tea cups recyclable?

The issue of recyclability is very much in vogue at the moment and conversations around the waste generated from fast food and takeaways is a big issue. Take a walk down any inner-city high street and the public bins are likely overflowing with McDonald's boxes and Starbucks cups. The issue of recyclability and waste is prescient for every industry and bubble tea is no different. So the recyclability of bubble tea cups is something we have to explore. Are bubble tea cups recyclable?


One advantage the bubble tea industry has is standardisation. Walk in to any bubble tea shop in the UK and you will find very similar cups. Standard sizes of 90mm diameter or 95mm diameter and in a standard volume of 500ml (regular) or 700ml (large) mean that what works for one should work for all.

Plastic Cups

The plastic cups and lids synonymous with bubble tea are generally made from Polypropylene (PP) which is recycled throughout the UK and can be recycled by most local councils from kerbside pickup (check with your local council to be sure). This common plastic is used throughout the service industry and the plastic straws and cup lids are generally made from the same plastic.

PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) is an alternative plastic that some cups are made from. These cups are slightly more difficult to deal with when it comes to sealing lids. However, PETG is also recyclable.

Whether you are a customer or shop owner, knowing that your cups are recyclable is a must.