Plastic Cups

Put in Garbage Cart/Bin Put in Recycling Cart/Bin

Recycle plastic cups only if they are empty and labeled plastic #1 through 5 or non-compostable plastic #7. No need to rinse them. If they are labeled “compostable,” put them in the garbage. Plastic cups made from plastic #6, polystyrene, are not recyclable in San Jose’s curbside program.  Put them in the garbage.  

Ways to Reduce

Purchase Reusable Cups

Red Cup Living makes a reusable cup that looks like the classic red Solo® cups. Consider purchasing these cups as an alternative to the disposable cup, in order to reduce your plastic waste.

Aluminum vs. Plastic

Check out the refill-and-recycle Ball Aluminum Cup – in addition to keeping your drinks cold, this aluminum cup can be recycled along with your aluminum cans.

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 and a neurotoxin for humans. Find out more from