As love husband Dew and also Dunkin’ toss foam aside, they miss out on an possibility to command the means for reuse systems
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Coffee retailers room ditching polystyrene foam cups, however their alternative – plastic-lined record cups – is a false solution. Photo: Caleb Lucas on Unsplash


After years of warnings about the various health and also environmental risks attached to polystyrene foam, corporate America is just now loan an ear. While part restaurants and also coffee shops were quick to swap out polystyrene foam cup for record ones, others have reacted much more slowly – consisting of coffee and donut giants, love husband Dew and also Dunkin’. This fall, both suppliers announced the they are making the move from polystyrene foam cup to eco-friendly file ones.

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As these providers seek prayer for something they should have done years ago, us wish they had actually skipped over record cups altogether and instead adopted reusable cup systems. After all, record coffee cup aren’t just record – their inner is lined through plastic, which way they’re not actually recyclable. Those more, they’re tho designed to be used only once prior to getting tossed in the trash, where they’ll finish up in a landfill or incinerator, bringing a host of health and also environmental dangers to the forefront.

And us can’t forget about those plastic coffee cup sheathe – they’re make from number six plastic – the same plastic used to do polystyrene foam, an interpretation they’re simply as toxic.

Companies may say switching the end polystyrene foam cup for file ones is a far better option, yet it’s ultimately not the solution. With 4,200 places in new England alone (and more than 12,000 worldwide), Dunkin’, in particular, has missed an chance to show an international leadership in the fight against waste and also pollution.

You must Never Eat or Drink Anything from a Foam Container

It’s no an enig that polystyrene foam is hazardous. Acquired from dangerous chemical compounds styrene and also benzene, the petroleum-based substance is linked to a number of health issues. Even restricted exposure to this chemicals have the right to irritate the gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tract tracts, when high exposure have the right to impair the main nervous system, change vision, and also even cause cancer.

These chemicals can also seep into the food and also drinks we store in foam containers, putting us at a better risk because that contracting these illnesses. That method each time we take a huge swig that coffee the end of that foam cup, or through that plastic lid, us may likewise be consuming styrene and also other harmful toxins.

So, the next time you’re readily available a foam cup of steaming hot coffee, or a paper cup with a plastic lid, perform me a favor and say no. Better yet, begin carrying a recycle coffee mug through you!

Companies room Greenwashing the record Coffee Cup

Citing ecological concerns, countless companies have ditched polystyrene foam cups for “eco-friendly” paper ones. But are these paper coffee cup – the ones girlfriend toss in the recycling bin after your last sip the caffeinated goodness – really the much far better for publicly health and the environment? The prize is no – and here’s why:

If that lined with plastic, it can’t be recycled.

The bulk of document coffee cups have actually a plastic resin coating to save the cup sturdy when filled with liquid. But this coating stays clear of the cup from being recyclable. For a plastic-lined record coffee cup to truly be recycled, the paper and plastic would have to be separated from one another and also sorted into teams of the same materials.

Although it’s possible to recycle plastic-lined document cups, the procedure is as well expensive to be adopted widely. As a result, the actual recycling of plastic-lined coffee cups is practically non-existent in the U.S.

What’s more, due to the fact that most of united state believe paper coffee cups space recyclable, we throw them into curbside recycling bins, whereby they gain mixed in v other materials – prefer glass and also aluminum – at recycling facilities. A stray document coffee cup in a load of aluminum can dramatically lower the worth of that material on the market.

Even if made completely from paper, it’s tho trash.

A variety of companies have been working to develop plastic-free document coffee cups. This might sound choose a an excellent option up front – a cup made from 100-percent document is in truth recyclable – but that is quiet a disposable item, and that’s not sustainable.

Worldwide, 2.25 billion cup of coffee are consumed daily. Also if only fifty percent of those were served in disposable cups, that’s end a billion coffee cup being thrown the end each day.

Some would certainly argue the compostable coffee cups and also lids would certainly be a better option. Yet we don’t have a robust enough composting mechanism in brand-new England – or the nation – to take care of this lot of document coffee cups alone. Also still, the process to manufacture, compost, or recycle these cup is expensive and also consumes an substantial amount of resources – especially because that something that is just going to end up in our waste stream. Us have far better options.

Reuse Systems room the genuine Solution

Instead the swapping the end one unnecessary angry for another, we deserve to – and must – be investing in reuse systems. A prime instance is Vessel, the country’s very first reusable cup business based in Berkley, California, and also Boulder, Colorado. Similar to a bike-share program, Vessel provides customers with an insulated stainless steel to-go cup that they can refill in ~ participating cafes. When signed up, friend have five days to usage the cup prior to returning it to a vessel kiosk or companion cafe.

Similarly, Blue party Coffee newly announced that all of its U.S. Cafes will certainly be zero waste by the finish of 2020. V a goal to divert 90 percent that waste native landfills, the firm unveiled a plan that gives consumers through two choices: to carry our own reusable mugs or to placed a deposit down on Blue Bottle’s reusable alternatives. The firm also vowed to protect against selling single-use bags of entirety beans and instead allow customers to buy in bulk.

Disrupting the disposables industry, Vessel and also Blue party Coffee will store hundreds of file and plastic cup out of landfills and incinerators.

A Missed opportunity

We’re glad love husband Dew and also Dunkin’ are tossing polystyrene foam cups aside, however their different – plastic-lined paper cups – is a false solution. Both companies missed an possibility to turn the coffee retail market on the head by implementing recycle cup systems. Not only would a move like this have collection an example for coffee retailers nationally (and globally), however it would have actually demonstrated a true concern for consumer health and the environment.

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It’s obvious that recycle cup systems room the way of the future, so let’s offer coffee retailers – choose Honey Dew, Dunkin’, Starbucks, and also Caffé Nero – a push in the right direction. Contact on these coffee retailers, and also your various other favorite coffee locales, to ditch plastic-lined paper cups and implement recycle cup programs. That time because that the reusable cup revolution.