I love grabbing a cup of coffee on the go. There are few things nicer to me than having an iced coffee during my commute in the summer. I never really worried about the fact that the cups were single-use. They were often paper or biodegradable cups, which, fine right? Once I did some more research, I found that it was very much not fine. Here’s 6 reasons to use a reusable coffee mug instead of single-use cups.
1. Styrofoam cups are the worst.
The EPA estimates that about 25 billion styrofoam cups are thrown away in the United States each year. They’re made from polystyrene, a product made from petroleum that is considered carcinogenic. They also harm the planet, requiring sometimes 500 years to fully break down.
2. Paper cups aren’t much better.
Paper cups are a better choice than styrofoam cups, but they’re still not a great choice. The glue used in these cups can actually start to break down which can release melamine, which is harmful of consumed.
3. Plastic lids are harmful.
The lids for coffee cups are made from a type of plastic called plastic #6. This plastic is polystyrene which, like styrofoam, leaches styrene into your coffee. Styrene is a carcinogen, so at the very least, find a safer plastic lid, or just refuse the lid all together.
4. Most single use cups aren’t recyclable or recycled.
For the most part, these cups end up in the landfill, and the cardboard sleeves, which are fully recyclable, tend not to be recycled at all. It’s just more trash being thrown out.
5. Think plastic is okay?
Hint: it’s not. Plastic cups, often used for iced coffee, are made from plastic #5, otherwise known as polypropylene plastic. They can be recycled, but many curbside programs don’t take them.
6. It’s all a matter of taste.
Even if none of these things mentioned so far matter to you, the taste of coffee is simply better out of a ceramic or stainless steel reusable mug. Make sure you’re using a high quality stainless steel mug if you’re going that route though. Double-walled mugs are ideal too.