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Posted 7 October 2019

In an exciting first for Australian ski resorts, Mount Hotham food and beverage operators will be exclusively using 100% compostable takeaway coffee cups from the 2020 winter season.

As part of its sustainability strategy, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board (MHARMB) will provide compostable takeaway cups to every winter operator selling coffee, ensuring a significant drop in the amount of waste going to landfill.

Each season, visitors to Mount Hotham use approximately 10,000 takeaway coffee cups, which equates to  1.5 tonnes of waste that goes straight into the bin and then to the resort's landfill site located at Cobungra.

 “As one of the top eco-friendly destinations in Australia this strengthens Mount Hotham’s position as the most environmentally responsible alpine resort,” says Jon Hutchins, CEO, MHARMB.

“Use of the compostable cups will be mandatory across the resort, but I’m pleased to say that all our operators wholeheartedly support this initiative, which demonstrates the passion everyone has for our beautiful environment.

“The Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board will coordinate the supply of compostable coffee cups centrally for all commercial operators in the resort and distribute them to each business moving forward."

Over the past 20 years, MHARMB has worked consistently to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.

From 2002 to 2010 an active recycling program saw a doubling of compacted recyclables collected thanks to improved processes and support from residents and visitors, and from 2010 to 2017 the amount of waste leaving the resort annually for landfill was reduced by 112.5 tonnes.

The resort has also encouraged people to use reusable cups, with some hospitality venues selling them and MHARMB providing reusable cups for its own staff.

A total of 100,000 compostable coffee cups with two unique Hotham designs will be purchased by MHARMB from BioPak ahead of the 2020 snow season.

Collection bins for used compostable cups will also be placed throughout the resort to ensure all coffee cups are disposed of correctly. This will ensure they can be sent with other organics to the resort’s own waste and compost facility at Cobungra.

“Some of our operators have had biodegradable cups for several years now but there is real confusion among the general public about which cups are compostable or recyclable,” says Nick Malkin, Senior Manager Resort Operations.

“We are introducing compostable coffee cups because it will take away that confusion and by communicating that all cups are compostable it will make it far simpler to collect and compost.

“We believe initiatives like this will roll out across individual states and even nationwide in the coming years, so we are keen to lead the way and have control over where our coffee cups go.

“It’s been an extensive exercise to this point but will be cost neutral and in the long run, the savings we make in landfill will cover the cost of the cups.”

As one of the top eco-friendly destinations in Australia this strengthens Mount Hotham’s position as the most environmentally responsible alpine resort.

Jon Hutchins