It takes us just a few minutes to drink a cup of coffee on the go. We buy it, sip it, discard it, and go on with our day. The cup is only a few moments into its miserable existence when we chuck it in the paper-and-lid graveyard all bins seem to become during inner city mornings.
Those cups are not recyclable. Nor are the hundreds of other cups you see in people’s hands as they walk down the street. No matter how cardboardy it looks it’s dead by the time it leaves your hand, destined to spend hundreds of years in a landfill.
The reason? Inside every cup is a plastic lining that makes the whole thing almost impossible to recycle; it can’t be decomposed but will remain a danger to the ecosystem and the animals for as long as it exists. Even biodegradable and waxed disposable cups hardly ever end up at the recycle stations simply because they are so hard to tell apart from the rest. Most places also don’t have the infrastructure to deal with them.
Styrofoam cups aren’t any better, as they can’t be recycled and stays in landfills for about 500 years!
Even if we found a way to recycle disposable cups, would it really be worth it? They need resources. Lots of them. After washing, pulping, and processing 98 tonnes of materials, only one tonne of paper remains suitable for coffee cup creation. And that’s just the paper. Creating plastic from crude oil is an incredibly energy consuming process.
Those are resources that we throw out after just a single use.
The solution has been around for a while. It’s simple, cheap, it’s super sexy, it seals, and convenient. It has won over more and more people during the last couple of years. It’s almost too obvious, too easy, too good to be true.
We are of course talking about the reusable coffee cup. If you want to make a difference today, the Vesica tea infuser meets the need of any environmentalist. Its insulated stainless steel chamber is covered in a beautiful bamboo wood and seals tight to keep the heat or coldness locked in for hours. It comes in a convenient 300ml size that can easily fits in your bag or even large (back) pockets and wont spill a drop. It’s insulated and also includes a strainer for your tealeaves, brew your tea as per the instructions. The basket clips down securely allowing you to put leaves underneath for a stronger brew, without the basket falling out.
However even with this solution available, most people still prefer the disposable cups. In fact, Australians use 113 of them every four seconds.
Most of you out there will feel motivated to stop using disposable coffee cups for a while after reading this blog post. You will sit in instead of take away, or bring a cup with you around. What happens afterwards is that most people slowly fall back into their old habits. When the first impact of the information has started to wear off, and everyone around us is using disposable coffee cups anyway, maybe even mocking the clear conscience keep cuppers, it’s hard to stay motivated.
In order for us as an evolving planet/polluting population to embrace the change we know needs to happen, create a good habit and takeaway the takeaway coffee cup from your life. Could you do it?
Standing out and being a lone fish swimming against the current is too mentally exhausting. Consumer psychologist Paul Harrison says that “Even if we have environmental beliefs, it takes risk-taking behaviour to step outside of social norms”.
That’s why it’s so important to embrace the challenge of change, and be together about it. With the versatile Vesica tea infuser, you can signal to other environmentalists that they are not alone, and also feel supported when you see someone else carrying one. Be proud of the courage you show when you use a reusable cup. There are many people out there like you.