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What you did not know about disposable cups

WHAT ARE DISPOSABLE CUPS, AND WHY ARE THEY A PROBLEM? 

Our love for coffee and other take-away drinks supports a huge consumption of disposable cups. There is talk of several trillions (yes, trillions!) Of cups a year.

It is a growing environmental problem that deserves attention.


WHY IS IT A PROBLEM? CARDBOARD COPPER CAN YOU JUST BE SORTED?

Not only are over 20 million trees cut every year to produce paper cups for us. The production itself also requires large amounts of fossil fuel, and drains our natural resources.

Not least: most paper cups are covered with a thin layer of plastic, to prevent the liquid from penetrating.

So to you who think that all the take-away cups you use are recycled; they mostly do not.

Less than 1% of the cups produced are recycled.

Read it again.

Less than 1% of the cups produced are recycled.


WHAT ABOUT COMPOSTABLE CUPS THEN, THEY ARE GOOD?

Many outlets promote the use of 'compostable' cups, or 'plant-based plastic' cups. Even though these are products made without fossil plastic, we are still talking about disposable products that are largely not recycled.
On the contrary, there are many who believe that these cups can 'compost' in nature or in the sea. Thus, throwing them in the trash becomes even less important than before.


SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM LIKE?

The biggest problem with disposable cups, compostable or not, is that they are made to be used once. There is a lot of energy and natural resources used for a lifetime of what it takes to drink you should drink a coffee or juice for 7 minutes.

There are also growing health concerns about drinking hot beverages from disposable cups, as plastic and other ingredients can be absorbed into the body along with what you drink.


QUICK SUMMARY: THEREFORE DISPOSABLE CUPS A PROBLEM

Production: The production of disposable cups erodes our natural resources, and every year over 20 million trees are cut down for this purpose.

Disposal / sorting : Less than 1% of disposable cups are sorted. The rest ends up in landfills, in the sea, gets burned, or litter nature.
Layer with plastic: Most paper cups have a layer of plastic, which makes them difficult to recycle even if you wanted to .

Use: The use of some types of cups can have negative effects on our health due to the intake of plastic and other ingredients.


HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?

If we only look at take-away cups, then we get a good picture of the problem by looking at some countries.

Coffee Cup Usage Around The World

Ridiculous numbers, right? And they do not count on smoothie cups, water / soda bottles, cups for yoghurt, etc.


WHY SHOULD YOU BOTHER?

If you feel that this on a global or human level does not matter much to you, think about what effects it has for you personally .
Health
  • Direct effect
    • The use of disposable cups can directly affect your health due to the plastic chemicals contained in the cup. And yes, all cardboard cups have a layer of plastic in them.
  • Indirect effect
    • Pollution from production can affect the air quality around you
    • Microplastics can travel through the food chain, and into what you eat
Economy
  • Direct effect
    • Some authorities are starting to tax disposable cups as a result of this growing problem.
    • Most coffee chains now offer discounts to customers who bring their own cup to the café
  • Indirect effect
    • The price of disposing of disposable products is paid for with your tax money

WHAT CAN YOU DO IT?
  • The most important thing you can do is change your personal habits. Buy a reusable (and raw-leaking) cup you love, and use it. Over and over again!
  • Do not be fooled by 'recyclable' and 'plant-based' options. Not all of them are authentic, and they are still disposable items.
  • Support companies that actively want to change the problem
  • Talk about others with the problem, and spread the word!

Sources:

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