This post is part of an attempt to do something like 100 recycling tips for damn near anything in something close to, anyway, 100 days. We’ll see how that goes. When the 100 Recycling Tips are all published here on Easy Ways to Go Green, we’ll do a master list so that every link exists on one single page for everyone to be able to link over to, or to use as a reference guide when questions on how to recycle different things in your life inevitably come up.
How to Recycle 100 Common Things: #9 Used Cardboard Java Jackets (Coffee Sleeves)
In Quick Recycling Tip #7 we discussed how and where to recycle used paper coffee cups, but didn’t touch on the coffee sleeves, commonly known these days as the ubiquitous “Java Jacket.”
With coffee and coffee houses and chain stores like Starbucks and Peet’s freckling the landscape of a country as big as the United States, one can hardly imagine how much trash we pile up when it comes to something like a daily, or perhaps more than daily, habit like buying a disposable cup of coffee. It’s mind blowing. And because there are practical concerns, like one wanting to avoid burning their hand while drinking a hot tea or cup of coffee, things like Java Jackets have been invented. This time, it seems that someone basically got something right, in the way of the environment.
A better answer than styrofoam cups which cannot be broken down easily in landfills, someone took a ridged strip of cardboard and turned it into a sleeve that wraps around the hot paper cup, allowing air to pass through the sleeve, thereby cooling the temperature. Java Jackets actually come with “patented embossed nubbins [that] allow for air to pass through the jacket. This design gives extra protection by providing better insulation and easier handling.” Apparently, Java Jackets are like Kleenex, Band-aids, and Xerox. First to market gets the lion’s share, and even the entire brand identity, since we are technically discussing coffee sleeves, facial tissues, adhesive bandages and photo copiers. But I digress.
So — re-use of these items might include once again putting them into packaging as packing material filler. Another great suggestion is to avoid using them altogether, instead opting for a fabric cozy that you can use again and again. Or use one from your local coffee store, and then keep it with you in the car, for instance — it’s not like these things “go bad” at any point — so why not use, use again, and then keep on using it rather than continually taking coffee sleeves every time you order?
Here’s the specific low-down on the actual Java Jackets, which one might extrapolate onto more general coffee sleeves to get to the bottom of the recyclable nature of these little cardboard friends:
- Natural Kraft Java Jackets are made from linerboard composed of 100% recycled paper with approximately 90% post-consumer paper content.
- The Scatter Cup Java Jacket is made from linerboard composed of 100% recycled paper, with approximately 35% post-consumer paper content.
- All Java Jackets are 100% reusable, 100% recycleable, 100% compostable.
Helpful Links on Recycling Used Java Jackets or Cardboard Coffee Sleeves:
Check out the Java Jackets official site and FAQ page for more info.
Check out Recycle This UK for more info on recycling used cardboard coffee sleeves.
An article on Associated Content that talks about recycling old cardboard coffee sleeves in a crafty manner.
Information on Earth 911 on cardboard recycling in general, which may be of interest.