The Big Picture
Coffee cup waste has become a major problem across the world thanks to our love affair with the takeaway coffee. Most coffee shops and chains are happy to shout about the recyclable coffee cups they use. But they don’t tell us that in reality the vast majority of our used cups aren’t reincarnated into more cups or other useful things.
In fact, in the UK we use 7 million takeaway coffee cups a day and just 0.25% of them are recycled. That means only 17,500 out of our 7 million used cups gets recycled.
The vast majority of our used cups end up in landfill or getting incinerated. So with every takeaway coffee we drink we are adding to a massive and growing pile of coffee cup waste.
The average disposable coffee cup weighs approximately 18g which means we are creating over 125 tonnes of coffee cup waste every day!
A fully loaded Boeing 737 weighs approximately 70 tonnes so we’re creating the equivalent of almost 1.8 planes worth of disposable cup waste a day.
Your Personal Coffee Cup Waste
Now you are probably thinking “I wonder how much waste I create?” We know because we thought exactly the same thing! That is why we created the coffee cup waste calculator. Just plug in how many takeaway coffees you buy a week and it will tell you.
Use our chart below to see how your waste stacks up compared to some everyday items, objects and even living and breathing members of our family!
If you want to have some more fun seeing how your waste compares to other weird and wacky items enter your result at Weight and Things.
Whilst this is all a bit of fun we believe it highlights the scale of the problem. It just shows why we need to take action to reduce use of disposable coffee cups.
How Can We Reduce Coffee Cup Waste?
There really is only one way for us to reduce coffee cup waste and that is to stop using disposable coffee cups. But don’t panic though because this doesn’t mean we need to forego our caffeine fix altogether.
All you need to keep getting your coffee on the go is a reusable coffee cup. The best reusable coffee cups are lightweight, won’t affect the taste of your drink and are
easy to carry and wash.
Most coffee shops will also offer you a discount for bringing your own reusable coffee cup. So you can save money and reduce waste with one small change to your lifestyle. You can even use our reusable cup calculator to see how much you could save.
So why not start reducing your coffee cup waste today by making the switch to a reusable bamboo coffee cup?