Saturday, January 29, 2011

Throw out the Coffee Cups for Good

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Have you ever been walking around and seen one of the disposable drinking cups from Tim Horton's, or Starbucks?  We live in throw away society and the majority of our trash comes from the packaging for our fast foods and drinks.  Did you know that the disposable cups from you local Starbucks or Tim Horton's cannot be recycled?  This means that the millions of disposable cups being sold world wide are just ending up in the landfill.

Why wouldn't the cups be recyclable, they are made of paper, and last time I looked paper is recyclable. The culprit is the fine layer of plastic that lines the inside of each and every cup.  This layer is vital in order to keep the liquid contained, otherwise it would just soak through the paper cup.  This layer of plastic poses problems for your local recycling facilities, as their technology is not capable of separating the plastic from the paper, and thus cannot recycle them.  Any cups that end up at the recycling facility end up being diverted to the landfills, adding increased costs for the increased transportation. 

What can you do about this?  You should bring a reusable thermos, especially if you are a habitual drinker and get a coffee from Starbucks everyday.  Often your local coffee stores will provide a discount to those that bring a reusable thermos, as you are benefiting them as well.  Companies do not want to spend money to provide you with a cup if they don't have to and will reward you for it. 

So please try as hard as possible to remember to bring a reusable thermos.  One way to ensure that you do have one is to keep it in your backpack, purse or car.  By using the thermos you also make your coffee last longer, and allows you to waste less coffee since it is less likely that you won't finish your coffee before it gets cold and unpalatable.  Not only that, but if we eliminated the use of these disposable cups, there would be one less piece of trash blowing around our sidewalks.

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