Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Problem With Recyclable Coffee Cups

I doubt that this is the first article ever written about coffee cups and it certainly won’t be the last, but I’m going to go ahead and write about it anyways because the only opinion that matters is mine*!!!!!
I typically start every weekday morning with some form of coffee from one of the coffee shops near me. Whether it is Starbucks, Dunkin, or a local shop (my favorite kind), they all serve coffee in a disposable cup.

Most of the time these coffee cups are made from recycled material. I imagine this makes people feel good when they are buying a drink. However, the whole ‘recycled material’ thing only really helps if people are turning around and recycling their cups after they are finished with their drinks.

I know many of these coffee shops have a recycling service within their shops, but this doesn’t help when most people are getting their drinks to go. Most of the time, people will just throw their cups in the trash because they either forget about recycling their own cups or, more often, they just don’t have an option.

I say they don’t have an option because many places just opt to not have a recycling bin. This doesn’t make sense to me, especially on public transportation such as trains.

Trains provide transportation for a countless (maybe not countless, but I’m lazy) amount of morning commuters, most of which are drinking their morning coffee out of these cups. Many of these people will finish their coffee on the train and then not have a choice but to throw their cup in the trash.

It is inevitable that recycling will become more widespread, but it is annoying that we have to wait for some accountant to deem it cost-effective. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing that individual people can do.

If you are a regular coffee drinker, then I suggest you get a mug that you can just rinse out after you are done with your coffee. Most places are more than willing to fill up a personal mug instead of giving you a disposable cup, and let’s face it, they are much cooler.

I love this damn cup.
That is my rant about paper cups. I expect that a widespread adoption of personal coffee mugs will take place tomorrow, dramatically shifting the paper-products market and mitigating deforestation.

You're welcome, World.

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