Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world today. Apparently, worldwide, humans consume almost 10 million tons of coffee per year.1 And, whilst a lot of that coffee is consumed in the home, a large percentage is enjoyed in restaurants and cafes and a significant further amount is savoured in the form of takeaway coffee. Of course, when it comes to takeaway hot drinks, it’s not just coffee - in all its various forms - that we love. Some of us prefer tea or hot chocolate or a spicy and sweet chai latte.
For those of us who often purchase takeaway hot drinks, here’s 4 reasons why you should seriously considering getting your own reusable JOCO cup today:
Image source: Naturally Safe Cosmetics
1. Environmental Issues - Landfill
Whether you prefer a flat white, skinny latte or double shot macchiato, have you ever stopped to consider just how much waste is created every day by the disposal of single use coffee cups? It is estimated that Australians use approximately 1 billion disposable paper cups each year (some estimates are even as high as 3 billion!). That’s a lot of cups! But that’s okay, right? I mean, paper cups are recyclable aren’t they? Apparently, the thin plastic lining (polyethylene) often means that coffee cups need to be recycled at special facilities and cannot be recycled through standard council depots and recycling plants.2 For that reason, the majority of them end up in landfill.
This story is repeated throughout the world with estimates of around 500 billion cups going into landfill each year – with each of those unrecyclable and non-compostable cups sitting in landfill for up to 50 years. My head hurts just thinking about it! Every time you choose a reusable cup over a paper cup, that’s one less cup in landfill.
2. Environmental Issues – Greenhouse Gas Emissions
It takes raw material, energy and money to produce paper cups, just so they can be used once and tossed in the bin. The polyethylene inner lining of paper cups is made with petrochemicals which do not biodegrade and, as the cups, decompose, the polyethylene releases methane – a greenhouse gas said to be more lethal than carbon dioxide as it has 21 times the heat-trapping component compared to carbon dioxide.3 According to The University of Melbourne Sustainable Campus, over a year, the use of a reusable coffee cup reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 92% compared to disposable cups. Now that’s a significant improvement!
Also, many paper cups are made from virgin paper pulp, meaning that trees must be felled to produce a product that is only used for the length of time it takes to drink a cup of coffee – a double tragedy as trees take up carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone from the atmosphere. Not to mention the carbon footprint of paper cup manufacturing and distribution, all for the sake of these single-use items.
3. Your Health
Remember when most takeaway hot drinks used to be served in Styrofoam (polystyrene) cups? Although great insulators, the hot liquids placed in these cups had the potential to cause the chemicals in the Styrofoam to break down or leach into the drinks and be ingested by the person drinking from the cup – not so good when these chemicals are considered to be possible carcinogens. These days we tend to see more paper cups than Styrofoam but these papers cups are lined with plastic to prevent the liquid from coming into contact with the paper and turning the cup to mush. The problem is that this lining can also potentially contain harmful chemicals, like BPA (Bisphenol A) for example. BPA has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and liver problems, as well as hormonal disruption.
In comparison to polystyrene lined paper cups, glass reusable cups are an ideal non-toxic choice to hold your favourite hot beverages.
4. Your Hip Pocket
If you’re still unconvinced about the environmental and health benefits of switching to an eco-friendly, non-toxic, reusable cup, then maybe the thought of saving some money will interest you because using a reusable cup can also have financial benefits.
These days, you will find more cafes happy to accept your reusable cup when you buy your favourite brew. So it's simply a matter of grabbing your JOCO cup on your way out the door each morning. Not only is this convenient, but many cafes will actually offer a cheeky little discount when you do use your own cup – bonus, right? These cafes will often advertise their participation in this scheme via a poster on the window but it doesn’t hurt to ask your favourite coffee shop about it.
In addition, a good quality, food grade compliant, reusable cup like the JOCO cup - with its lightweight, ergonomic and stylish design – may just entice you to make your own coffee to go before you head out each morning – saving you even more money.