It’s no secret that as Australians, most of us have a coffee addiction. And in Melbourne itself, it’s become a serious culture that many take very seriously. But what some people might not know is that this culture is having an adverse effect on the environment. The primary cause of this? Takeaway coffee. More specifically though, the cups that we drink them in. It is estimated that Australians consume around one billion hot takeaway drinks per year – translating into a billion paper cups per year.
Just like metal recycling in Pakenham is saving having a positive effect on the environment, so too should recycling paper takeaway cups. The reality is, however, even if takeaway cups are recyclable, they’re rarely disposed of in the appropriate way. Enter keep cups and reusable cups that are becoming a trend. In today’s blog, we’re going to be going into the positive effects that reusable cups are having on the environment and some of the other benefits they bring to the table.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A REUSABLE CUP?
Well, as the name suggests, it is a portable cup that you can take with you wherever you go and have café’s make your coffee in. There are a wide variety of different brands with their own styles, benefits and materials that you can purchase. They all usually have three sizes for coffee cups: 8oz, 12oz and 16oz – which is essentially your small, regular and large takeaway sizes. Part of their appeal is their trendy style and customizable features and colours.
But the biggest pro that comes out of owning and using one of these items is the positive effect that they have on the environment. Using these reusable cups mitigates the number of paper takeaway cups being sold. Some cafés even offer discounts for people who bring their own cups, offering a bonus incentive to purchase one.
WHY AREN’T TAKEAWAY COFFEE CUPS RECYCLABLE?
It boils down to the lining. The majority of takeaway paper cups are actually lined with polyethylene – which is a water-proof plastic – making them not so environmentally friendly after all. Because of the polyethylene lining, these cups release methane gas once they’re in the landfill – which is where they end up since they can’t be recycled.
A lot of people are unaware of this and simply assume they’re recyclable because they’re paper, which can be a problem once they end up at recycling plants for a small amount of time before being taken to a landfill. The unfortunate truth is if you’re trying to do the noble thing and recycle your takeaway coffee cup, you’re doing more harm than good.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A REUSABLE CUP?
Other than the serious mitigation when it comes to the reduction of takeaway paper cups that we utilise, using a reusable cup can have benefits on your own personal health as well. A great thing about the companies that make these cups is the fact that they’re all highly sustainable and eco-friendly. Almost all of them are BPA and chemical free. This is an instant improvement compared to takeaway coffee cups as the polyethylene lining in them is classed as a contaminant.
Some of them are even made entirely of recyclable materials, whilst others can be recycled ethically and safely if the time comes to get rid of them. Some of the materials used are stainless steel, glass and even specially designed BPA and chemical free plastics. On top of all these positive health and environmental impacts, they’re practically useful for someone who’s constantly on the move or even just for grabbing a coffee from your local store when in the office.
ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVES?
Purchasing a reusable cup is the best solution to this problem at the moment, but there are other ways. Some café’s offer bio-degradable takeaway cups which are compostable which is a great alternative, but not all café’s do this. Having your coffee in is an easy solution but impractical if you don’t have the time to sit in. At the end of the day, if you have a coffee to go and are given a standard paper cup, do the responsible thing – recycle the lid and throw the cup itself in the trash.
INTERESTED IN RECYCLING METAL IN PAKENHAM?
Just like being aware of the impact that paper takeaway cups have on the environment, metal recycling in Pakenham can have a big effect too. If you have any spare metal that needs recycling in Pakenham then Metal Men Recycling is the perfect company for you. We offer a variety of services to make sure you’re efficiently recycling metal in Pakenham.
For more information about recycling metal in Pakenham, please give us a call on 03 5941 6677 or contact us through our website.