Did you know paper cups account for the cutting down of 6.5 million trees and use 4 billion gallons of water every year? This week on Ours to Protect, we talked about why our reusable cups are so important.
Did you know:
- 22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour, that is 528,000 every day or 200 million a year.
- Single-use coffee cups are not on Recycling List Ireland and cannot be put in the Recycling Bin.
What impact do single-use coffee cups make?
Every year, producing paper coffee cups account for the cutting down of 6.5 million trees, as well as using 4 billion gallons of water, and enough energy to power 54,000 homes for a year. This renders a massive environmental impact in the form of deforestation.
According to greensteel.com, plastic disposable cups and plastic lids contribute to the killing of 100,000 sea mammals, turtles, and fish every year.
In addition to hindering wildlife, polluting their natural environment, and disturbing their ecosystem, plastic emits all kinds of harmful chemicals like BPA.
That is a tremendous amount of waste produced and damage caused by plastic and paper cups alone.
Why is reusable better than compostable and recyclable?
Both options use up valuable resources for a single-use item. Both require raw materials and energy to make, transport, and dispose of them, these resources can never be recouped.
There are recyclable and compostable cups on the market in Ireland but due to the unique collection system in place for recyclables, it does not allow for these to be placed in the recycle bin.
This is because the mixed recyclables are sorted by machines that cannot differentiate between the various types of single-use cups, meaning that they potentially end up in the paper stream and cause contamination.
If we use reusable cups, we can save all those resources and reduce our impact on the planet!
If you like takeaway coffees and want to lower your carbon footprint and waste production, you can carry your own keep-cup and ask coffee shops to top up yours when you’re on the go!
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