Can Single-Use Coffee Cups Improve Sustainability?
This article explores the latest attempts of the industry to address patrons’ concerns about single-use coffee cups as part of their interview with the owners of a growing coffeehouse named Crazy Love, in Roswell, GA. The owner couple recently changed their to-go cup to one that better displays their brand, reduces waste compared to their prior cup (which required the use of a corrugated sleeve,) and is more durable in holding a cup of hot coffee.
To put the problem into perspective, the article cites that “globally, more than 250 billion single-use paper cups are produced every year.” And it’s because of realities like these that a range of more sustainable solutions for the single-use coffee cup are being researched and seriously considered by the food service industry.
These considerations include:
A consortium of Starbucks, McDonalds and a firm named Closed Loop Partners that have cofounded the “NextGen Cup Consortium & Challenge”;
Some smaller chain efforts to return to permanent ware or reusable cup solutions;
New takes on the actual design and post-use handling of the traditional paper hot cup ranging from:
Cup designs that use less material
Cups made from recycled paper fiber, and
Development of local utilities so that more areas can reclaim used coffee cups to be for composting
On a positive note, premium coffee continues to grow and, with major players focused on the issue, the industry can expect new improvements to make the single-use cup more sustainable.
Read the full article here.