The Problem with Using Disposable Coffee Cups

By Jhene A

In a world where we’re encouraged to do our bit for the environment, more of us are beginning to rethink our hot drinking habits.

However, when it comes to the number of disposable cups still being thrown away, the numbers are incredibly worrying.

With the US alone drinking their way through over 520 billion disposable cups a year, the UK too manage half of this amount.

Even worse though, is the realization that only 1% of those cup types thrown away can ever be recycled.

What’s the Big Deal?

So, what’s the problem when it comes to disposing of such cups? Quite simply, it’s that thin plastic lining in these products that cannot be recycled.

Though many people see the cardboard on such cups and believe they can be recycled, these are single-use cups. Thus, once we’ve had one drink from them, they’re thrown into landfills. 

Most worryingly, a significant number of these cups make their way towards our oceans. Thus, they’re then added to that ever-growing pile of plastic.

So, What’s the Solution?

As many of us wake up and smell the coffee, we’re also realizing just how cool reusable cups types are. With so many fantastic designs, shapes, and sizes available, more of us consumers are reaping the benefits of using our own cups. Therefore, we’re actively changing our own bad habits.

Yet, coffee shops themselves need to do more. Some chains offer incentives and rewards to those customers reusing their cups. Others are trying to reduce the number of disposable cups they sell. But though this is a start, it’s still not enough.

Until we eliminate the disposable cup completely, the result is a continual growth of throw away cups contributing to a steady pile of problematic plastic.