Is there plastic in your disposable coffee cup?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

NoPapercup1For 99% of all cases the answer is yes and that is why they cannot be recycled and end up in landfill, regardless what the manufacturers may tell you.

The problem: more than 5,000 coffee cups are now thrown away every minute across Britain, but less than 1% of those cups are actually recycled due to complex sorting and contamination issues.

While the cups may be of cardboard the liners of the cups once were of a wax product but today are mostly plastic and neither the wax product not the plastic allow for (easy) recycling, as the material is bonded to the cardboard. The so-called compostable single-use plastic/cardboard cups are not much better either as, one, the material also contaminates recyclables and, two, they are not as compostable as the name suggests. They only compost properly in high-temperature commercial composting facilities and not in an ordinary composting process.

There is only one way of getting away from this and that is not new kinds of paper cups but an end to them and, obviously, the Styrofoam ones as well, and getting used to either drink your coffee in the coffee shop or to bring your own Barista-friendly reusable cup. They do exist, trust me. KeepCup is one of them and there is even a collapsible one, called Stojo, which is, in some ways, similar to the collapsible water bottle called Ohyo and therefore there is absolutely no excuse to use disposable cups.

© 2016