Disposable cups are increasingly a menace to our environment. Everyday In British alone we throw around 7.000.000 paper cups , and yet fewer than one in 400 is recycled.
This is because those disposable cups are very difficult to recycle. When you buy a coffee from one of the UK’s 40,000 coffee shops, the cup it comes in has a polyethylene coating.
This makes the cup waterproof, but also difficult to recycle as it can’t be easily separated.
Professor Wouter Poortinga, from the Welsh School of Architecture said that
On average, if the use of reusable coffee cups could be increased by up to 12.5%. the UK’s usage of an estimated 2.5bn disposable coffee cups each year could be cut by up to 300 million coffee cup
Some alarming facts about single use cups
- Disposable paper cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups extremely rare
- Half a trillion disposable cups are manufactured annually around the world; that’s over 70 disposable cups for every person on the planet.
- Most plastic used in the world today is for single-use items.
- 4 billion trees, or 35% of the total trees chopped down, are used in paper industries
- 1 tonne of paper consumes 98 tonnes of resources in manufacture.
- Globally, we consume nearly 300 million tonnes of paper each year; most made from virgin pulp.
- Very little recycled paper is used to make disposable cups due to health risk concerns.
- 70% of the world’s paper comes from diminishing forests, not from plantations or recycling
- Consumer waste has increased more than tenfold over the 20th century, from 40kg to 560kg of waste per person, per year.
Luckily there are 4 green innovative coffee cups inventions to fight this menacing problems
1. Frugal Pac Cup . The Real Recycleable Coffee Cups
As i mentioned before only 1 from 400 cups in the UK can be recycled. The rest end up in landfill or are incinerated.
But luckily Martin Myerscough , the founder of Frugalpac has a solution
This new paperboard coffee cups are made from recycled paper that can be reused by paper recycling mills. Unlike ordinary coffee cups, the recyclable paperboard cups feature a thin plastic liner that is free from added chemicals and only lightly glued in place.
This design allows the liner to be separated from the cup during the recycling process so that the cup can be recycled again and again
Just don’t forget to put it in any paper recycling bin.
Both cost-effective and eco-friendly, Frugalpac’s new cups could be the solution to reducing coffee cup waste worldwide
2. 100% Compostable Cup by Reduce. Reuse. Grow , Buy a Cup Grow A Plant
This Cup start its journey from Kickstarter in 2015 as a Plantable Coffee cups , which has native seeds embedded within the material to be used for reforestation
But when i see their website, it looks like the concept is changed already into A 100% petroleum free, compostable coffee cups with a liner made from plants not oil
When you buy a cup, they will grow a plant at certain restoration sites like whale rock reservoir.
Although it is already changed, i think it is still better alternative than conventional coffee cups
This cup now is being served at several coffee shop at San Luis Obispo , Santa Barbara , Ventura and Los Angeles
3. PlanetCup . 100% Plastic Free Cups
This Cup created with sustainable material such as forest friendly paper , wood, cardboard and PolyLactic Acid Lining, made from corn starch where the conventional cups using plastic as lining that makes this cup are fully compostable and recycleable
Created by Planetware . They claims that the manufacturing proccess produce approximately 70 – 80% less greenhouse gases than polystyrene and other plastic products
4. Pokito Cup, 3 in 1 Pocket Size Reusable Cup
An innovative reusable cup Idea by Andrew Brooks on Kickstarter with over 3K Backers
Most of reusable cups too big, too small but with Pokito we can adjust it to 3 size
Grande size 475ml (or 16oz), Medio 350ml (or 12oz) or Espresso 230ml (or 8oz)
or you can scrunch it up to 4.8 cm if you don’t use it
Made from TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) for the soft component and PP (polypropylene) for the hard bands which is FDA and European EMA Approved
and it is odorless and won’t affect the flavour of your drinks
If these cups is not available in your region yet or too expensive for you . Lets keep everything simple , just buy ordinary tumbler cups
Like my starbucks heat insulated tumbler which i always carry whenever i go . I don’t drink coffee and rarely go to starbucks,
but i usually fill my tumbler with plain drinking water so i can reduce water plastic bottles usage and save my money also
It is not perfect , but if majority of us do this small tiny action , it will have heavy benefit impact to our earth