New Tim Hortons coffee lids are to still be trashed in Hamilton

Hamilton has been the home of Tim Hortons since 1964. Now 55 years later, it seems the City of Hamilton and its prized franchise are not on the same page for the roll-out of their new lid. 

Two years ago, Tim Hortons started developing a new sustainable lid in an effort for their popular coffee cups to be more sustainable and ergonomic. For those who have yet to figure out the inverted tab trick to reduce spills, this cup does it for you with a tabbed closure along with a raised dome lid.

But the lid is now the centre of controversy as the City of Hamilton encourages the lids to be dumped in the trash, just like the previous iteration.

Last year the City asked residents to toss their Timmies lids in the garbage due to uncertainty in their recycling programs of how to properly process them. This is understandable given that many of us still struggle with whether to throw the cup and lid in “paper”, “can & bottles”, or “trash” and often never separate them before doing so. Hint: the cups go in the green bin!

The Timmies lid will remain in the long list of “uncertain” items when it comes to how the public recycles consumable goods in Hamilton, which means the new design has done nothing it terms of how the cups are disposed of.

However, Hamilton is not the only city with the issue — Calgary also has a similar stance in not recycling coffee cup lids. The reasoning being that they are too small and light to be properly sorted at the facility, not to mention the all-too-often paper cup counterpart that remains attached. 


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While Greenpeace says that the lids are “technically considered 100 percent recyclable”, the truth of the matter is that only around 9 percent of recyclable plastic gets diverted for recycling in Canada.

Many are upset over the decision for Tim Hortons to not use the opportunity to design lids that are bio-degradable or can be processed easier in recycling plants. And people’s anger isn’t unfounded — Tim Hortons is among the most polluting corporations in Canada, with McDonald’s, Nestle, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola rounding out the top 5.

To their credit, Tim Hortons will be introducing a more sustainable paper cup, wood stir sticks, and are currently researching a strawless iced coffee lid, too. Hopefully those will go over a bit better than these new coffee lids.

If you still have any questions as to which bin garbage items go into, the City of Hamilton has a website where you can search waste items to see where they belong.

What are your thoughts on the new lid design? Should Tim Hortons make even greater strides in developing lids that are more eco-friendly? Let us know in the comments.

Lead photo courtesy of Tim Hortons and NHL.

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