I am completely distraught by the amount of disposable coffee cups I see lying about everywhere. They sit like silent sentinels watching over us. The perch at tram stops, on park benches, on train seats, beside public toilet bowls, in gutters, on pavements and just about everywhere else a person can place them.
Coffee lids can live for 400 years.
The coffee lid can take 400 years to degrade, it could be longer, this is only an estimate. Fortunately coffee lids can be recycled, (if they don’t make it out into the ocean).
That’s right, it doesn’t get pulped and remade like other papers. The reason for this is coffee cups have a plastic wax inside of them. The wax is there to protect the user from hot water seeping into the paper. The corruption of the plastic and the paper makes it useless. Therefore coffee cups go to landfill.
The wax inside the coffee cup also stops the cardboard degrading naturally. Coffee cups take a long long time to break down.
Brain damage and impotence.
And the wax leeches into the hot coffee, this awful goop contains Bisphenol A (BPA). Which effects reproduction and brain development.
In Australia 1.5 billion of disposable coffee cups go to landfill.
Forever. Your five minutes of convenience is 400 years of inconvenience. Especially if your lid gets out into the ocean. Then the plastic will float about, break down and all sorts of marine wild life will eat it. From the largest whale, right down to the smallest plankton.
With all the other plastic garbage out there, hundreds of thousands of marine life die.
You will eat your cup.
Eventually the plastic from your cup will travel up the food chain and onto your dinner plate. The swordfish or tuna you eat tonight may have high amounts of plastics already in it. With a trillion tons of plastic garbage already in the ocean, the chances are it does.
Change your habit.
Its not easy to change habits I know, but carrying a reusable cup with you will reduce the impact of disposable coffee cups significantly. I personally drink 1-2 lattes a day (when I can afford it) so I make sure I always bring a reusable mug to the café (this has saved 360-700+ coffee cups from landfill, so it makes a huge difference to my footprint.).
If you forget your reusable cup, don’t be hard on yourself. Keep trying until your brain forms the habit.
Most café’s will fill your cup and some even give cash discounts. So there is no real excuse is there?