What are the best ways to dispose of a used disposable coffee cup?

What are the best ways to dispose of a used disposable coffee cup featured

The Problem: Used Disposable Coffee Cups

Disposable coffee cups have become ubiquitous in today’s fast-paced society. People buy coffee on their way to work, while running errands, or simply because they want the caffeine boost. However, the downside is that these cups are not environmentally friendly. Due to their plastic lining, they cannot be recycled through traditional methods. So, what can be done to mitigate the harm they cause?

Solution 1: Bring Your Own Reusable Cup

The easiest way to reduce the number of disposable coffee cups in landfills is to bring your own reusable cup to the coffee shop. Reusable cups are made of materials such as ceramic, stainless steel, or glass and come in various sizes and styles. Many coffee shops offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup. Starbucks, for example, gives a 10-cent discount to customers who bring their own cup.

Solution 2: Composting

Another option is to compost the cup and lid. Many cities and towns offer composting services that accept compostable coffee cups. These cups are made of materials that can break down in a compost pile, such as paper or cornstarch. However, it is important to note that not all “compostable” cups are created equal. Some require high-temperature industrial composting facilities, which are not available in all areas.

Solution 3: Mail-Back Programs

Some companies offer mail-back programs for their disposable cups. These programs allow customers to mail their used cups back to the company, which then recycles them. For example, international coffee chain Nespresso has a mail-back program for its coffee pods. The company provides customers with pre-paid labels to send the used pods back for recycling.

Solution 4: Terracycle

Terracycle is a company that specializes in hard-to-recycle waste. They offer a Zero Waste Box specifically for disposable coffee cups and lids. Customers can purchase the box and fill it with their used cups and lids. Terracycle then recycles the materials, keeping them out of landfills.

By bringing a reusable cup, composting, using mail-back programs or Zero Waste Boxes, individuals can reduce the environmental damage caused by disposable coffee cups. It is important to be aware of the options available and choose the most sustainable solution for your lifestyle.

Jump to section