Coffee is one of the go-to beverages for millions of people worldwide. ☕
Every day, thousands of people enjoy getting their takeaway coffee on their way to work. However, most of the paper coffee cups we use are not recyclable, and many regularly make their way into the ocean or landfills. According to the BBC, 8 million pieces of plastic are thrown into the ocean every day. In the US alone, around 50 million coffee cups are discarded every year. While many coffee chains use paper coffee cups with lids and advertise their products as recyclable, most are only theoretically recyclable. Commonly used takeaway coffee cups have a polyethylene lining that is hard to separate from the cup. This coating acts as a moisture barrier, making the cup waterproof, but making it difficult to properly recycle.
Recycling takeaway cups becomes more complicated as the cups are contaminated by the beverage residue. Due to the plastic barrier, such paper coffee cups cannot be recycled in regular recycling facilities. Instead, they have to be taken to special facilities. Sometimes, coffee chains are not transparent with their customers about the materials they use while manufacturing a coffee cup. As such, only a small percentage of coffee cups are actually recycled every year. This presents a significant environmental challenge, as most paper coffee cups with lids are often made of petroleum-based plastic. Additionally, these cups can have serious health hazards as the plastic used in many may contain BPA, a compound that is toxic to human health.
How Can These Challenges Be Addressed?
Paper coffee cups pose a significant environmental hazard. Coffee chains need to make a collective effort to overcome these challenges and move towards a sustainable future. Some important measures that coffee brands can take include, but are not limited to, switching to using compostable cups, offering refillable cups, encouraging customers to take their coffee in-house, and using sustainable cups made from plant-based materials.
Many businesses are using compostable cups to counter the environmental impact of single-use plastics. Since customers are getting more environmentally conscious, companies are being held accountable for their sustainability measures and carbon footprint. Companies can make compostable custom paper coffee cups to return nutrients to the soil while reducing carbon emissions. As such, compostable cups do not contribute to environmental pollution as they will naturally break down in a short period of time. Pairing compostable custom paper coffee cups with compostable lids will show the eco-friendly values of your business without sacrificing customer satisfaction.
Some coffee chains have a ‘bring your own cup’ program that encourages customers to bring a reusable cup from home. They offer various discounts and rewards to customers that bring their own mugs instead of using single-use or takeaway cups. Such programs reduce the environmental impact of single-use coffee cups. If people get their own reusable coffee cups, the average number of single-use coffee cups will automatically decrease. Companies can also give out their own reusable coffee cups if the customers want to buy them on the spot.
Encourage Customers to Stay
Sometimes, customers are in a hurry and they need their coffee to-go. However, some people might have some spare time to sit and enjoy the coffee at the cafe itself. Since it takes only a few minutes to prepare a coffee, those with some extra time can enjoy the coffee in-house instead of paying an additional takeaway fee. To help encourage such a change, it is important to make your coffee house more attractive. Use paper coffee cups with logos, upgrade your seating arrangements, increase your seating space, and invest in attractive, welcoming decor. You can even go a step further and provide personalized paper coffee cups to your customers with a small quote, message, or just a thank you. Such personalization goes a long way in building customer trust, satisfaction, and loyalty.
Use Plant-Based Materials
Ditching plastic-coated cups in favor of cups made from plant-based materials is a great step in addressing the environmental challenges posed by plastic takeaway cups. Many companies offer sustainable and personalized paper coffee cups that do not contain harmful petroleum-based plastics. These paper coffee cups with logos are made to keep beverages hot while reducing a business’ carbon footprint. Such innovations in the field of sustainability can help you keep your coffee fresh for longer and minimize the impact on the environment.
☕ Wrapping it up
If you operate a coffee business and are thinking of upping your sustainability practices, have a go at using our custom stock coffee cups with lids or stock custom coffee cups with lids. Made from white kraft or natural kraft paper material, these cups are commercially compostable and are lined with PLA, or polylactic acid (plastic made of plant-based renewable resources).
Order yours here today and learn more about how to switch to eco-friendly products for you business.