Plastic Waste: Should We Use Reusable Coffee Cups?

Coffee cup waste 1.6.18

On average, around 2.5 billion coffee cups end up on the rubbish pile every year. Each wasted coffee cup contributes to the growing problem of plastic waste – an economical nightmare for humans, animals and the environment.

Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is a rapidly growing problem around the world. This year, an estimated 8 billion kilos of plastic will be dumped into the world’s rivers, seas, walkways and waterways. This deposited man-made material takes a long time to degrade and is extremely dangerous for wildlife. The majority of the world’s littered plastic end up at sea. With so much plastic leaking into our oceans and nowhere for it to go, marine life is at a higher risk of plastic toxic poisoning and entanglement.

Plastic comes in a range of solid states, from hard to soft, and can come in a range of sizes, from large plastic containers to microscopic plastic particles. The material is highly favoured for being versatile, strong, and cheap to manufacture. It is one of the most popularly used man-made materials in the world.

However, due to overwhelming amount of plastic waste contributing to environmental devastation, countless organisations are seeking ‘greener’ ways to operate, aiming to eliminate plastic waste once and for all.

End Coffee Cup Waste

Since the 5p charge for plastic bags at the supermarket, England have reduced the amount of plastic bag use by a massive 85%. But, on a cold and sleepy commute, how many of you have thought about contributing to end plastic waste by using reusable coffee ups instead of disposable ones?

Thanks to new initiatives to ending plastic pollution, not only will drinking from a reusable cup help you to do your bit, but it could also save you money in the long run.

Recently, some coffee shops in the UK have begun to offer discounts on hot drinks to those who bring their own cup. Pret a Manger has recently doubled the discount to 50p off the usual price. Meaning, if you buy 1 coffee every weekday, you could save yourself £2.50 each week.

The coffee shop giant, Starbucks, currently offer a 25p discount on every hot drink bought when poured into a reusable cup. Similar to ending plastic bag waste, the company will also evaluate the effects that adding 5p to every paper cup has on plastic cup wastage. Every 5p charged will be donated to environmental charities and behaviour change experts in a bid to campaign the importance of reducing plastic use.

If you’re stuck on what reusable cup to buy, you can purchase one on-the-go from your nearest Starbucks. As well as a range of different tumblers, the company also sell a simple £1 reusable cup which is perfect if you’re caught up in a morning rush. Plus, with the 25p discount, you will get your money back after the 4th drink.

Ultimately, it seems that changing your consumable habits by switching to a reusable coffee cup can be a great investment for your pocket and for the environment.

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Sam Rose

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