Whether you run a burger van or a specialty coffee shop, the chances are a large percentage of your beverages are dispensed in disposable cups. Each day millions of disposable cups are used worldwide.
But we are all acutely aware of the precipice the world teeters on. Overuse of resources, pollution and rising CO2 levels have all combined to bring us perilously close to a point of no return.
For the business owner, this presents a problem. Luckily, as this article describes, there is a perfect solution in the shape of 100% compostable and disposable cups that contain no plastic. These provide a sustainable and environmentally friendly option.
But before we have an in-depth look at the solution, let’s start by examining the problem!
When you consider the morning latte you just poured for your customer, you probably didn’t think about it in environmental terms, after all, it’s just a few cups, and they are recyclable, aren’t they?
However, scale it up to a global level, and millions of other proprietors were dispensing their local beverage at the same time, and chances are they weren’t thinking about the environment either.
And therein lies the problem, the world’s reliance on single-use plastics in any form is simply unsustainable, and a surprisingly large percentage of this usage takes the form of disposable cups.
The recyclability of most of these cups isn’t all it seems either.
The “standard disposable coffee cup” used by most outlets is manufactured using plastic-coated paper. This makes them incredibly difficult to recycle, a process that requires specialised facilities that are few and far between. It is a sad fact that over 90% of disposable cups are never recycled.
With Covid restrictions preventing the use of reusable cups in many areas, this has left businesses stuck between a rock and a hard place. Ironically, the same pandemic spiked the demand for takeaway beverages and greatly increased the demand for disposable cups.
The ability to serve takeaways has thrown many businesses a lifeline in troubled times. But at what cost?
To understand the environmental impact of these actions, it helps to look at the types of cups traditionally used for takeaway drinks.
Styrofoam cups are less common than they once were, and this is a fact that we can all be thankful for. Cheap to manufacture, with good insulation, and reasonably robust, at first glance, they seem like a good choice.
But dig a little deeper, and the picture isn’t quite as rosy. Styrofoam has a nasty habit of lingering about long after its useful life has passed, around 500 years or so, in fact. Then there are the health concerns. The chemicals in styrofoam can seep into the contents of the container if exposed to high heat, like a serving of coffee, for instance!
Unfortunately, it has long been considered probable that these chemicals are carcinogenic. All in all, styrofoam is the real bad boy in disposable cups.
Not convinced? Well, let’s finish with these facts – Recent estimates state that 30% of the world’s landfill volume is taken up by styrofoam, and 20% of all styrofoam is destined to end up in our waterways.
Although not that suitable for hot beverages, these still represent a distinct problem when it comes to single-use plastics. And once again, the spectre of styrofoam rears its ugly head.
These are manufactured using polystyrene, the exact same material used in the manufacture of styrofoam cups. In effect, what this means is that the same drawbacks as we already discussed with their puffed-up styrofoam brethren can be applied to plastic cups.
However, for party and event hosts, busy bars and function organisers, there is a perfect solution for dispensing cold drinks and remaining environmentally responsible. Fully compostable disposable cups are a great way to keep the customers happy without ruining the planet.
These days when we think about disposable cups, it is usually these that spring to mind. These are not quite as evil as the Styrofoam version, but that’s not saying a lot.
As mentioned earlier, thanks to their composition, these are incredibly difficult to recycle, and the plastic coating is another material that is going to be around for centuries.
Some of these are manufactured using plastics manufactured from plant-material and are described as being compostable. This is only partially true – Successful composting of these cups can only be undertaken at specialised composting facilities where high temperatures are required to effectively biodegrade the plastic.
I think that’s quite enough doom and gloom to be getting by on. Now for the good news. At Think Greener, our commitment to providing eco-friendly solutions for businesses means that proprietors can continue to serve takeaway drinks safely in the knowledge that their brand name won’t be a common sight in landfill sites for centuries.
With the same thermal and waterproofing properties as plastic-coated cups, our aqueous-coated compostable cups are manufactured from sustainably sourced materials and can be easily recycled by tossing them into any paper bin.
But it gets better, rather than needing commercial composting facilities, these will break down harmlessly into useful compost in any home composting bin.
These are benefits that any business should be proud to shout about. And these cups let you do just that!
Fully brandable, these let the world know that your brand is committed to saving the environment, and in today’s world, where the environmental impact of their actions is uppermost in the minds of many consumers, this can give businesses that make the switch a decisive edge over the competition.
As a society, we have become used to doing things on the go, and for many of us, this means grabbing our morning or afternoon coffee as we dash about trying to multitask our lives.
Even the most environmentally aware amongst us can find it easy to say that one little cup is going to make a difference when the urge for a caffeine shot is upon us.
At Think Greener, we are proud to say that for businesses and consumers alike, our products let you dispense or drink your morning brew with a completely clear conscience.