Coffee-hounds, I will lead thee to redemption
I’m happily ensconced in my inner-city suburb, the kind of area where we enlightened folk sip on lattes while figuring how to fix the world, right? No, not bloody right. I am sick of the use of disposable coffee cups. that cup that you use for 5 minutes will hang around for up to 5000 years. To state the obvious, your a three-cup-a-day habit will create a one thousand-cup mountain every year! What are you doing? Go get a re-usable keep-cup or take a mug to the coffee shop.
Some facts (from the US):
* When you purchase one cup of coffee (or tea) in a disposable container every day, you create about 23 lb of waste each year. -Ideal Bite
* About eighteen percent of garbage we produce is composed of disposable containers, of which hot beverage cups represent a large portion.
* Styrofoam cups are the worst culprits, as it never degrades. Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups every ear. Even 500 years from now, the foam coffee cup you used this morning will be sitting in a landfill somewhere. -The Recycler’s Handbook
* Starbucks just started rolling out new cups that contain 10% recycled paper. (Whoopee). This is not uncommon, recycled paper being a problem in food packaging because of contaminants.
* Over 6.5 million trees were cut down to make 16 billion paper cups used by US consumers in 2006, using 4 billion gallons of water and resulting in 253 million pounds of waste “Paper Cups = Unsustainable Consumption” Feb 6, 2008.
* Paper cups may consume more non-renewable resources than cups made of polystyrene foam# Chris T. Hendrickson, Lester B. Lave, and H. Scott Matthews (2006). Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Goods and Services: An Input-output Approach. Resources for the Future. p. 5
A city of Toronto audit found fast-food waste was in 77% of trash bins and in 260 of the 480 bins. Toronto’s recycling plan allows people to include paper-based takeout coffee cups in curbside recycling because they can be composted. However due to the sheer number of cups the recycling plants simply cannot process them.
Which coffee chain is going to take advantage of the HUGE GLARING OPPORTUNITY to lead by actively pushing a re-usable alternative?