Holiday reminder: Paper plates are compostable. Starbucks and beverage cups are mostly trash, though you can recycle the paper sleeve and plastic lid on hot beverages. Most paper plates are going to be paper only and not coated in plastic. If it’s too shiny or thick then you might want to pass on the paper plate just to be safe unless your package said 100% paper. Something that is supposed to hold liquid like a to-go coffee cup is usually plastic-coated paper to protect you and maintain the heat/fluid and that is not compostable. There are the occasional paper cups that claim they’re compostable, but according to the City of Austin’s compost vendor, if it’s not BPI-certified compostable they don’t want those in the compost carts since there’s less guarantee they can break down properly. Photo credit to Snow White.