Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Are Paper Cups Recyclable?

Disposable paper cups are made from a combination of materials. A thicker layer of paper makes up the majority of its contents, along with a thin layer of wax or plastic film.

Wax or plastic layers keep the cups from leaking liquid, regardless of whether they are for hot or cold beverages. Although this feature makes paper cups convenient and effective, it also renders them unrecyclable by most conventional means.

The wax or plastic layer can be removed so the paper cup can then be recycled, but the process proves to be very costly and time consuming. Approximately "50 billion cups in the U.S. end up in landfills every year -- enough that if placed end to end, they would go to the moon and back roughly five times."

Some statistics on disposable drink cups are listed below:
  • "Over 50% of Americans over 18 years of age drink coffee every day. This represents over 150 million daily drinkers. 30 million American adults drink specialty coffee beverages daily; which include a mocha, latte, espresso, cafĂ© mocha, cappuccino, frozen/iced coffee beverages, etc.
  • Specialty coffee sales are increasing by 20% per year and account for nearly 8% of the 18 billion dollar U.S. coffee market.
  • Coffee statistics show that among coffee drinkers the average consumption in the United States is 3.1 cups of coffee per day.
  • Coffee Statistics: 50% of the population, equivalent to 150 million Americans, drink espresso, cappuccino, latte, or iced/cold coffees.
  • Independent coffee shops equal $12 billion in annual sales.
  • There are approximately 24,000 Coffee Shops across the country.
  • Statistics show there will be approximately 50,000+ Coffee Shops within the years to follow
  • The average Espresso Drive-thru Business sells approximately 200-300 Cups of Espresso and Coffee Based Drinks per day."
With the number of disposable cups being sold each year in the United States alone, either more efficient processes need to be implemented to separate the paper from the coating on the cups, or innovations in cups are needed to provide consumers with cups that are recyclable.

For more information on recyclable items visit www.wasteawaygroup.com


1 comment:

  1. Interesting article... Thanks for sharing this details...really helpful for my business....
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