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The Environmental Impact of Coffee Cups

Posted on 10/11/2021

in Environmental News

a compostable disposable coffee cup

Disposable Waste

Fall is here, and for many businesses, this signals the switch in popularity from cold cups to hot cups. Although both are convenient, they continue to cause serious harm to the environment, as many kinds are not able to break down properly. This leads to the buildup of unsustainable items, all polluting at an alarming rate. There have been efforts to curtail these devastating effects, but one, in particular, is a halfway solution to a problem that requires a full resolution.

What is Single Stream Recycling?

Popularized in the 1990s, single-stream recycling aims to make it easy for people to properly dispose of their goods. In essence, it is a system where people can place recyclables of all kinds (including but not limited to plastics, glass, metal, and paper) in a single container. Once bins across the country are full, they are taken to a materials recovery facility where the actual sorting occurs. This accessible approach to being eco-friendly has led to an over 300% increase in recycling from 1980 to 2017. The problem, however, is that there is a much higher rate of contamination when compared to segmented recycling. Because products such as disposable cups are all going into the same receptacle, there are alarming rates of non-recyclable goods ending up at material recovery facilities.

The Solution: Compostable Products

Contrary to single-stream recycling, the verdict is clear on the effectiveness of composting. The composting process allows people to contribute to the circular economy where products and materials break down naturally to make compost, rather than going into the trash and building up in landfills. When a user has finished using their products, they can add them to their organics collection or take them directly to a commercial composting facility where they will be in the proper environment to break down into compost over a short time. The daily composting process will become even more accessible soon, as some companies are making it possible to compost organic waste and compostable packaging right from their home. These composting options make products like certified compostable coffee cups still practical for consumers while reducing our impact on the environment in the long run.

Fall Into Eco-Friendly Habits

Whether you’re shopping for a business or your home, it’s the perfect time to stock up on eco-friendly products for fall. Our certified compostable hot cups come in single-wall and double-wall options, which can be commercially composted after use. If you're looking for a crowd favorite, the Planet+™ 8 oz cup is the way to go!

Are you looking for the perfect food containers instead? We also offer a wide array of bowls that can withstand high temperatures.

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