fbpx

TOP 8 Problems With Disposable Coffee Cups

Disposable Coffee Cups Litter | Reusable Bamboo Coffee Cups | Reusaboo

We all love a coffee to get us going in the morning but did you know that almost half of all coffees and hot drinks are now being sold in disposable coffee cups? In the UK we now go through 7 million disposable coffee cups a day. That adds up to 2.5 billion cups a year. Our cups could stretch around the world almost five and a half times! 

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee highlighted just how damaging this is to our environment and how we need to take action to change our throwaway culture. We’ve summarised the top eight problems in this post. 

Disposable Coffee Cups Litter | Reusable Bamboo Coffee Cups | Reusaboo

We all love a coffee to get us going in the morning but did you know that almost half of all coffees and hot drinks are now being sold in disposable coffee cups? In the UK we now go through 7 million disposable coffee cups a day. That adds up to 2.5 billion cups a year. Our cups could stretch around the world almost five and a half times! 

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee highlighted just how damaging this is to our environment and how we need to take action to change our throwaway culture. We’ve summarised the top eight problems in this post. 

1. Disposable Coffee Cups Are Lined With Plastic

The biggest problem is that our disposable coffee cups are made from paper and lined with a form of plastic called polyethylene. It makes them waterproof so they can hold our drinks however this also makes them hard to dispose of. 

2. Recycling Takeaway Coffee Cups is Very Difficult

You might be surprised but the plastic lining used in our takeaway coffee cups cannot be removed by most recycling facilities. So once we’ve used our cup very few are actually recycled. Did you know that just 1 in 400 disposable coffee cups are recycled? Most of our cups go to landfill or Waste for Energy (WfE) schemes.

3. Disposable Coffee Cups Create Litter

We’ve all seen them lying about but you might be shocked to find out that around half a million disposable coffee cups are littered every day. This is creating an unsightly and damaging impact on our environment and also encourages more littering.

4. Takeaway Cups Cause Waste Contamination

If you do dispose of your cup responsibly you probably put it into an on-street bin. But this actually creates a waste contamination problem for our local councils. We then need to cover the cost of decontamination through our taxes. In fact, we are actually paying 90% of the cost of collecting, sorting and disposing of takeaway coffee cups. 

Disposable Coffee Cups Litter Bin | 8 Top Problems With Disposable Coffee Cups | Reusaboo
Disposable Coffee Cups Litter Bin | 8 Top Problems With Disposable Coffee Cups | Reusaboo

4. Takeaway Cups Cause Waste Contamination

If you do dispose of your cup responsibly you probably put it into an on-street bin. But this actually creates a waste contamination problem for our local councils. We then need to cover the cost of decontamination through our taxes. In fact, we are actually paying 90% of the cost of collecting, sorting and disposing of takeaway coffee cups. 

5. Disposable Coffee Cups Have Long Decomposition Times

Chris Cheeseman is a professor of materials resources engineering at Imperial College London and he estimates every takeaway coffee cup takes over 30 years to decompose due to the plastic lining the cup. But even more alarming is that it could actually take much longer as we haven’t examined cup decomposition in detail yet. 

6. Decomposed Paper Cups Create Microplastics

When the plastic lining of our used paper cup does break down it begins to create microplastics. These are tiny fragments of plastic which are less than 5mm in length. If you watched Blue Planet 2 you’ll know animals often mistake these tiny pieces of plastic for food. They have been found inside marine animals as small as plankton and as large as whales. Unfortunately this can often be fatal for the animals and is also damaging our ecosystem. 

Animals that have eaten microplastics enter our food chain and can end up inside us. Indeed, a study by Professor Richard Thompson (from the School of Biological and Marine Sciences at the University of Plymouth) found plastic in a third of fish caught in the UK suggesting they are already entering our food chain.

7. NEW Wood Is Needed to Make Paper Coffee Cups

So it is clear that the plastic used in our takeaway coffee cups is a major environmental problem but it doesn’t end there. The paper also creates an environmental issue as it must be made using brand new paper pulp. It is estimated that it takes at least 100,000 trees a year to keep up with our takeaway coffee habit in the UK. All these trees are used to create a product that lasts as long as it takes to you to sip your latte or slurp your americano.

8. Every Takeaway Coffee Cup Costs You Cash

Along with all the environmental issues created by disposable coffee cups they are also hitting you in the pocket as well. Every time you buy a takeaway coffee part of the cost is for buying the cup. All major coffee shop chains and many independents offer discounts if you bring your own cup. So you can save money on every single coffee you buy just by having a reusable coffee cup. 

“We would like to see a reduction in the use of disposable coffee cups. A culture of using a reusable cup wherever possible should be encouraged to reduce disposable cup waste.”

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Disposable Packaging: Coffee Cups Para 67

The Alternative: Reusable Coffee Cups

Reusaboo | Reusable Bamboo Coffee Cup | Forest Design

A reusable coffee cup is the sustainable alternative for your takeaway coffee. At Reusaboo our reusable coffee cups are made from naturally antibacterial and biodegradable bamboo fibre. We love bamboo because it’s fast growing, renewable, absorbs large amounts of CO2 and produces more oxygen than other plants.

Our bamboo coffee cup is a great alternative to disposable cups. It can be used daily and cleaned in the dishwasher. The screw on bamboo lid and stopper provide a secure seal to prevent spillages  and a thick silicone sleeve protects your hand. 

You can also save money by using a Reusaboo bamboo coffee cup and getting a discount of up to 50p at your local coffee shops. If you buy five coffees a week for a year you could save up to £130 per annum!

The Alternative: Reusable Coffee Cups

Reusaboo | Reusable Bamboo Coffee Cup | Forest Design

A reusable coffee cup is the sustainable alternative for your takeaway coffee. At Reusaboo our reusable coffee cups are made from naturally antibacterial and biodegradable bamboo fibre. We love bamboo because it’s fast growing, renewable, absorbs large amounts of CO2 and produces more oxygen than other plants.

Our bamboo coffee cup is a great alternative to disposable cups. It can be used daily and cleaned in the dishwasher. The screw on bamboo lid and stopper provide a secure seal to prevent spillages  and a thick silicone sleeve protects your hand. 

You can also save money by using a Reusaboo bamboo coffee cup and getting a discount of up to 50p at your local coffee shops. If you buy five coffees a week for a year you could save up to £130 per annum!

Sustainable

Biodegradable, recyclable, BPA & Phthalate free

Great Taste

Bamboo cup and lid won't affect the taste of your drink

Watertight

Screw lid and stopper prevent spillages

Heat Resistant

Thick silicone sleeve protects your hand

Warranty

Free replacement if your cup breaks within a year of purchase

OUR MISSION

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE CUP AT A TIME

We are fighting waste and rebelling against single-use, disposable culture through naturally sustainable, bold and striking reusable bamboo coffee cups. Read more About Us and why we created Reusaboo.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

Become part of the Reusaboo community to get sustainable living and zero waste tips, first access to new products, exclusive discounts and more. Sign up for our mailing list and follow us on social media.

6 QUICK TIPS TO REDUCE WASTE TODAY

Subscribe to our newsletter and get our FREE guide to cutting your waste.

6 QUICK TIPS TO REDUCE WASTE TODAY

Subscribe to our newsletter and get our FREE guide to cutting your waste.