Like most people, you are likely to start your day off with a cup of coffee (or a few). If you are home or at work, you are probably enjoying a wide variety of mugs to choose from. However, when you are out of the home and on the move, you are most likely going to visit a coffee shop, where you will end up with a standard paper/carton cup.

A friendly tip, bring your own mug and you will get a discount and will contribute to saving our environment!

You probably didn’t know that during the manufacturing process, paper/carton cups are covered with a plastic paste also known as polyethylene. This helps the cup keep your coffee warm, but also prevents the cup from being recycled! These single-use plastics, like plastic covers and straws, have now been banned in the UK.

2.5 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK – enough to stretch around the world roughly five and a half times – but less than 1 in 400 – just 0.25% – are recycled. Around 500,000 cups are littered every day–an unsightly and damaging blight on our environment.

Many people think coffee cups aren’t recyclable, but they actually are. However, they will not be recycled if you simply throw them in your mixed recycling bin, or paper recycling bin. Coffee cups need a designated bin/ waste stream, for just paper cups, in order for them to be successfully recycled and reprocessed into something new. Once recycled, paper from disposable cups can be reprocessed up to seven times and turned into new products including paper bags, greetings cards and notebooks.

When it comes to paper cups… there are several different types.

Air Pocket Insulated Cups: Air is trapped for improved insulation between an inner and an outer ridged layer.

Poly-coated Paper Cups: Features a polymer coating for additional insulation, while protecting the outside of the cup from weakening.

Post-consumer Paper Cups: Made using a high percentage of recycled paper and therefore using less virgin material.

Sustainable Paper Cups: Compostable and biodegradable cups. The whole cup is produced with natural renewable resources.

Wax Coated Paper – Paper Cold Cups: For cold takeaway drinks, the wax coated paper cup offers extra rigidity and protection from leaks

You don’t need to invest in solar panels for your home to lead a greener lifestyle, you can start small by having a reusable coffee cup.

Many coffee shops also offer small discounts if you are using your own mug. Even though the discount rates are not significant, what is important is that you will help save paper, reduce chlorine used to bleach the cups and you will also reduce your contribution to landfills.

If you are a coffee shop owner, give discounts to customers that bring their own reusable mugs. Let’s make this a trend.

# reversetrade #sustainability

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