Plastic Coffee Cup Pollution
“7 Reasons to Ban Take Away Coffee Cups”
A cup of coffee is a perfect way to start your day. But what happens when more than 99% of these cups are not recycled? No need to use your imagination, I’m here to reveal to you the 7 reasons why every country should ban take away coffee cups!
1. The Misconception
Disposable coffee cups, at first glance, can be seen as great candidates for recycling. But that is just a common misconception. These coffee cups are not entirely made up of biodegradable paper. The waxy texture inside the cup that keeps it waterproof is a polyester layer. Because of the paper-plastic combination in the production of these coffee cups, not all recycling centres are equipped for this hybrid. As a result, nearly a100% of the takeaway coffee cups worldwide, unfortunately, end up in our landfills.
2. Scary Statistics
In the United Kingdom alone, 7 million take away coffee cups are littered every day. That’s 2.5 billion cups a year. In Australia, 60,000 kilograms of the same cups end up directly in landfills every year, and it can take as much as half a century before decomposition. Around 500 billion pieces of takeaway coffee cups are used globally each year. That’s enough to go around the Earth 1,360 times! But, the scariest one of all is the fact that only less than 1% of these are being recycled, and the rest ends up being trashed after a single use. What a waste!
3. Microplastic Contamination
The polyester components will divide into tinier pieces over time. As a result, microplastic pollution happens. These tiny plastics can enter the water systems and may end up contaminating the oceans and the food chain. Not only that, when these coffee cups are placed in recyclable bins with other recyclable items, they can contaminate the real recyclables, and will automatically be eliminated during the recycling process. Thus, paving a way to an increasing amount of non-recyclable wastes.
4. Funny Psychology
With all the fancy logos printed on these coffee cups, experts say that people can easily attach a status symbol according to the coffee products we purchase. Adam Ferrier, a consumer psychologist, states that “It’s a badge of sophistication, a signifier that you are in the know of where to get the best coffee.” It’s really funny how people obtain the feeling of self-entitlement these days. The best example of this is when people feel obligated to post a selfie when they have a Starbucks coffee on hand. I hope they know that Starbucks just broke its third promise to adopt 100% recyclable coffee cups over the last 10 years. Good job Starbucks!
5. Wasted Resources
Imagine a decades-old tree being cut down to make take away coffee cups that will be littered right away on a snap of a moment. Converting a decades-old resource for a short-lived product is completely illogical at so many levels!
Then, we have water. The production of disposable cups requires an epic amount of freshwater resources. We use freshwater to clean these cups and they all end up polluting the same freshwaters in return… Painfully Ironic.
Finally, non-renewable fossil fuels. It takes a lot of fossil fuel to produce these coffee cups. To think that fossil fuels take millions or billions of years to replenish, it’s definitely a waste to only use it with single-use products.
6. Reusable Cups
What’s wrong with reusable cups? When we ditch take away coffee cups, there’s nothing much to lose. In fact, there’s more to win. We have a lot of reusable replacements for these good-for-nothing single-use plastic waste. Reusable plastic cups are good, but ceramic and glass cups are even better! We even have a reusable travel coffee cup using our reusable coffee cup for a year can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37-47%, save freshwater waste by 68-85%, and reduces wasted cups in the landfills by about 91-92%. Isn’t that amazing? Now go get a reusable cup, okay?
7. Responsible Cafes
These cafes can give you discounts when you bring your own reusable cups. Others are giving incentives when you purchase reusable coffee cups instead of disposable ones. But I think it would be much better if they just ban it altogether.
A couple of coffee shops are already answering the call. BBC news featured four strategies that can solve the problem. First is Frugalpac’s coffee cups with minimal plastic linings that are easier to separate during recycling. Second is CupClub’s glass coffee cups that should be returned after use. Third is TrioCup’s paper cups with strategically-designed origami techniques for usability and aesthetic purposes. Finally, the Cupffee’s edible cup that can be eaten right after your last sip of coffee.
It’s heavily important to raise awareness that caffeine is not the only thing that makes us nervous when drinking coffee, because the colossal amount of takeaway cups being littered every day is enough to raise our blood pressures even more! Don’t hesitate to own an iBan Plastic reusable cup, because that simple gesture has a long way to go. Nothing is impossible when done all together in one. Let’s all take the pledge to ban take away coffee cups!
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