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Cardboard and paper cups may seem like an ideal option as they are derived from a renewable resource that many assume may be compostable/decomposable. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. These kinds of containers are resource and emissions-intensive and an unnecessary source of waste that perpetuates single-use culture!
Reusables come in a vast variety of shapes, sizes, colours and materials and, while not all are created equal (we love our ceramics, what can we say!), reusables are a step in the right direction for a brighter, greener future for our planet. While they require a larger initial financial investment from consumers, they ultimately they ensure fewer single waste options end up in the biosphere, polluting the natural world and harming its inhabitants.
Coffee cups and food containers made from compostable plastics or cardboard are better for the environment than the common PET plastic and styrofoam options. While their benefits include being easy to adopt for cafes, restaurants and their community, they do have their drawbacks.
There are still hazards associated with:
Ultimately the most people and planet-friendly choice is to reduce the production and consumption of single-use options and switch to a more circular economy with consciously-made reusables. They’re safe, beautiful and speak to a change in a consumer culture that prioritises made-to-last and made to be loved instead of landfilled. An estimated 500 billion disposable coffee cups are produced globally per year - just think of how much waste we could prevent if each one of us made the switch to reusables. If every Australian switched to a reusable coffee cup, in a single day we would save 2.7 million single-use cups from being landfilled!
We’re biassed, but we love our Travel Cups and Travel Bowls as a safe to use and the sustainably made option to replace single-use plastic, compostables and cardboard cups/containers. All our wares are handcrafted by an actual human and being handmade, each has subtle variations that make every piece unique. When you shop Pottery For The Planet, you support the work of our artisan ceramic crafters, as well as our mission to protect our beautiful planet and its inhabitants, one Cup, one Bowl, one step at a time.
Find our reusables below!
Associated Services. (2016, August 19). It’s Time To Re-think The Disposable Coffee Cup. Associated Coffee. https://associatedcoffee.com/blog/its-time-to-re-think-the-disposable-coffee-cup/
December 15, K. M., & 2020. (2020, December 15). It’s Dangerous to Drink Your Coffee This Way, Says New Study. Eat This Not That. https://www.eatthis.com/dangerous-drink-coffee-paper-cup-study/
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. (n.d.). Coffee cup recycling - DAWE. Www.awe.gov.au; Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.awe.gov.au/environment/protection/waste/publications/coffee-cup-recycling#:~:text=It%20is%20estimated%20that%20over
Fact Sheet: Single Use Plastics | Earth Day. (2018, March 29). Earth Day. https://www.earthday.org/fact-sheet-single-use-plastics/
Helmer, J. (2019, August 14). The Massive Environmental Impact of Your Coffee Cup. FoodPrint. https://foodprint.org/blog/environmental-impact-coffee-cup/
Greepeace. (2020). Health Expert Statement Addressing Safety of Reusables and COVID-19. In Greenpeace (pp. 1–10). Greepeace. https://storage.googleapis.com/planet4-international-stateless/2020/06/26618dd6-health-expert-statement-reusables-safety.pdf
Masterclass. (2020, November 8). Biodegradable Plastic Guide: Explore the Pros, Cons, and Uses. Masterclass. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/biodegradable-plastic-guide
Morales-Caselles, C., Viejo, J., Martí, E., González-Fernández, D., Pragnell-Raasch, H., González-Gordillo, J. I., Montero, E., Arroyo, G. M., Hanke, G., Salvo, V. S., Basurko, O. C., Mallos, N., Lebreton, L., Echevarría, F., van Emmerik, T., Duarte, C. M., Gálvez, J. A., van Sebille, E., Galgani, F., & García, C. M. (2021). An inshore–offshore sorting system revealed from global classification of ocean litter. Nature Sustainability, 4(6), 484–493. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-021-00720-8
nguyen. (2022, April 13). How Long Does It Take For Coffee Cups To Decompose? Trung Nguyen Online. https://www.trung-nguyen-online.com/how-long-does-it-take-for-coffee-cups-to-decompose/
Ragavan, R., & Notaras, M. (2009, March 3). Sad Demise of the Paper Coffee Cup - Our World. Ourworld.unu.edu. https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/storm-in-a-paper-cup
Ranjan, V. P., Joseph, A., & Goel, S. (2021). Microplastics and other harmful substances released from disposable paper cups into hot water. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 404, 124118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124118
Reality Check team. (2018, April 17). Plastic recycling: Why are 99.75% of coffee cups not recycled? BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43739043
Robbins, J. (2020, August 31). Why Bioplastics Will Not Solve the World’s Plastics Problem. Yale E360. https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-bioplastics-will-not-solve-the-worlds-plastics-problem
Royte, E. (2018, September 14). Innovative food packaging, explained. Environment. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/food-packaging-plastics-recycle-solutions
September 2018, A. P. T.-L. S. C. 17. (2017, September 17). If You Throw a Compostable Cup in the Trash, Does It Still Break Down? Livescience.com. https://www.livescience.com/63597-compost-trash-in-landfills.html
Src=’https://Secure.gravatar.com/Avatar/Da87967c9bb90beb9aaec2cdc9268c63?s=100, img A., #038;d=identicon, Srcset=’https://Secure.gravatar.com/Avatar/Da87967c9bb90beb9aaec2cdc9268c63?s=200, 038;r=g’, #038;d=identicon, & Width=’100’ />, 038;r=g 2x’ C. A.-1. P. H. (2020, July 23). Why You Can’t Compost Compostable Cups At Home. Moral Fibres - UK Eco Blog. https://moralfibres.co.uk/the-problem-with-compostable-cups/
Sustainability Victoria. (2022, March 15). Sustainability Victoria | Eco-friendly alternatives to disposable coffee cups. Sustainability Victoria. https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/recycling-and-reducing-waste/at-home/avoid-waste/minimise-single-use-items/disposable-coffee-cups#:~:text=Australians%20throw%20out%202.7%20million
Upstream. (2020, May 2). INDISPOSABLE: The Safety and Future of Reuse - Full. Www.youtube.com; Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKGDRAwIxPw&feature=youtu.be
Why Are Paper Coffee Cups Bad for the Environment? (n.d.). Www.goodstartpackaging.com. Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://www.goodstartpackaging.com/paper-coffee-cups/