How you can make a difference with your coffee cup choice!
We all like to help contribute to the sustainability of the planet and be a little greener where we can. So, why do most of us still opt for the disposable takeaway coffee cup when we grab our morning coffee? We know they are bad for the environment, we know that most of them aren’t even recyclable, but we still choose to use them all the same.
Some concerning facts about your disposable takeaway cup that you should take into account:
- It will take 30 years for the plastic lining of a coffee cup to fragment and 100 years to fully break down and that’s only if it has the perfect environment to break down in.
- Australians use over 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups per year.
- Less than 1 in 400 disposable cups are recycled.
- Disposable takeaway cups are the second largest contributor to litter waste, behind plastic bottles.
Now if that hasn’t scared you into wanting to make a change, we don’t know what will! Many cafes around Australia have seen the light and opted to swap out their disposable coffee cups for biodegradable ones. Although a much more expensive choice for them they know that they are doing what they can for the planet.
Some of the benefits of biodegradable cups are:
- Reduces the amount of waste in landfill.
- The lining used on the coffee cup is made from natural starches derived from plants such as corn or sugarcane, making the lining both biodegradable and compostable.
- Biodegradable plastics can break down in 180 days when in the correct environment.
As a consumer, if you often opt for a disposable takeaway cup it is time you took some initiative and purchased a keep cup or chose a café that offers biodegradable takeaway cups. If you are looking for a café that provides these sorts of cups check out the Responsible Cafes website, you can search your area for you closest responsible café!
Onya Life 2019, ‘Disposable Coffee Cups: The True Cost of Your Takeaway Coffee’, Blog, viewed 14/03/2019 <https://www.onyalife.com/disposable-vs-reusable-coffee-cups/>
University of Melbourne 2019, ‘Coffee Cups’, A – Z Sustainability, viewed 14/03/2019 <https://sustainablecampus.unimelb.edu.au/a-z/c/coffee-cups>
Whyte, S 2016, ‘Takeaway coffee cups piling up in landfill as Australia’s caffeine habit soars’, ABC News, October 26th, viewed 14/03/2019 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-03/takeaway-coffee-cups-piling-up-in-landfill/7136926>
Responsible Cafes 2019, ‘The Better Cup Guide’, FAQs, viewed 15/03/2019 <https://responsiblecafes.org/better-cup-guide/>