100% biodegradable cups
Polystyrene foam cups
Biodegrade in three to six months
A cup made from 100% biodegradable material used at a Spring picnic will be gone by Christmas.
Will never biodegrade
If polystyrene foam was around during the Jurassic period, we’d find it next to dinosaur fossils.
Polystyrene is difficult to recycle and is not accepted by many recycling plants. It’s very lightweight and therefore floats, accumulating on beaches and in our seas adding to the islands of rubbish floating around the oceans.xi It also breaks up easily, meaning it can be ingested by marine animals and, if enough is eaten, will cause blockages that can lead the animal to eventually die from starvation.
Many companies are introducing a charge on every non-reusable coffee cup – this could be as much as 25p per cup. There are calls for every disposable cup to be recycled by 2023, this will include paper cups many of which do also include a thin layer of plastic to make the paper waterproof. If this target isn’t met there are plans to completely ban all disposable cups in the UK.
However, the solution to the problem is simple. For those who need their morning coffee, a reusable cup will work out cheaper in the long run and help to curb the damaging effects of single-use cups. And if you do need to use disposable cups, whether that’s at a party or work function, be sure to look for ones made from 100% biodegradable material.