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The daily deluge of coffee cups into the landfills

August 25th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Consumer Issues, Disposability, Recycling, Take-out containers, Trash Disposal

Three items to throw away after a few minutes of use.

Three items to throw away after a few minutes of use.

I just got back from a trip. In the airport on the way out of town we got drinks at a Coffee People. Then I had to throw away the cup. Ow! I could hardly do it. But they’re not eligible for reincarnation, so I had to.

The rule of thumb is that anything that can hold liquid is not recyclable — because the only way that it can hold liquid is if it has a certain amount of plastic content, and there’s not a thing they can do with this plasticky paper.

I don’t know about you but for me it’s getting more and more painful to use disposable items. I guess an airport is the one place I should be able to feel ok about disposables. People are on the go — they can’t slow down or they’ll miss their plane. But as for the rest of life, do we really need to be sucking on a drink every minute of the day?

What do you think we did before Starbucks came along with this idea? When we wanted a cup of coffee, we sat down and had it in a civilized manner — like they still do in the rest of the world. As far as I know, the US is the only place where we think we have to have our lips glued to a beverage at all times.


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2 Comments so far ↓

  • M. Sophia

    Can you recycle the sleeve that keeps your drink warm? I have always assumed that you can, but I also try to re-use them for as long as possible!

    • Kate Gawf

      Yes, you can! It’s only paper. The sleeves don’t need to hold any liquids, so there is no plastic in it. Reusing is best, till they start falling apart, then recycle. A lot of craftspeople are making non-disposable ones. The trick there is to remember to bring it with you.

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