Having a coffee cup on the go on your way to work seems like the perfect way to start your day. You enjoy its warmth, its unique taste, and every little sip prepares for what you have to do.
How many times, though, have you wondered about the cup you’re holding? We’re talking here about the materials it’s made of and how it impacts the environment when you buy it and when you throw it away.
Usually, coffee cups are made of paper, cardboard or plastic. Each of these materials can have a powerful impact on the environment, if not used correctly. For instance, if plastic is simply thrown away, it takes hundreds of years for it to decompose and the process releases dangerous chemicals in nature.
It’s essential to understand that every material can have an effect on the environment. What’s even more important is what you choose to do in this direction. Your habits can change the future of nature.
In order to have a more clear picture of this subject, let’s look at the difference between plastic and paper coffee cups, in terms of environmental impact.
Coffe cup on the go: paper vs plastic
If you’ve ever bought a coffee cup on the go, you surely received it in a plastic or a paper cup. Although you may not sense it, there is a great difference between these two materials.
Paper is an eco-friendly option, as it:
- can be easily recycled
- is biodegradable
- may not require intense and damaging manufacturing processes
Plastic, on the other hand, carries a stronger story with it. This material is made of petroleum or natural gas, two big non-renewable resources. They require energy-consuming processes for their extraction and for the manufacturing of different products.
Polystyrene, for instance, is one of the most used plastics around the world, with millions of tonnes produced every year. It’s used in the production of bottles, cups, disposable cutlery, protective packaging, lids, and trays.
The big problem with polystyrene is that it’s not biodegradable. This means it highly contributes to a great amount of outdoor litter, especially around shores and waterways. Animals may confuse polystyrene foam with food and eat it. This action causes harmful effects on their bodies.
Many plastic coffee cups on the go are disposable or can be hardly used for a second time. This translates into them being thrown away and eventually ending up in the environment.
Coffe cup on the go: paper cup benefits
Going for paper coffee cups can bring great benefits for you and the environment. Let’s take a look at them.
Paper is an excellent alternative to plastic. It takes at least 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose. Most of paper coffee cups are biodegradable and made of disposable material. This means they decompose easily, causing little to no harm to the environment.
What’s more, these products can be easily recycled. Just sort them and take them to a special bin.
If you’re using plastic coffee cups at home or at work, switching to paper cups is a rather easy change. You may wonder what you should do if you prefer to buy your coffee in the morning.
Some coffee shops encourage customers to come with their own cups. They even offer a discount for those who do this. Check if there are any coffee shops in your town that do this. You may pay less on your coffee and also protect the environment.
Light & comfortable
Another great thing about paper coffee cups is that they are really pleasant to carry. They are light and comfortable, which means you can easily take them with you on the road.
Some of them even have sleeves. If you enjoy hot drinks, you don’t need to worry about burning your hand.
You can also go for custom paper cups. They can be for everyday coffee, for an event or for a home party.