Livtar Singh Dhaliwal


05 August, 2016

How to Reduce Waste of Coffee Cups

How to sort and reduce the waste is a very important task for Columbia College because garbage plays major role in devastating environment and making our surrounding unhealthy. In the college, the main type of waste is disposable coffee cups and these cups lasts in garbage due to some problems related to recycling of them but there are some solutions to solve this problem.

In Columbia College, mostly students use disposable coffee cups to drink coffee and throw them into blue bins but actually these cups are sent to landfill. In the article, “why takeout coffee cups belong in the garbage, not recycling” staff from Torstar news service said, “Torontonians throw away hundreds of thousands of used coffee cups, many dropping them into blue bins under the false assumption they’ll end up be recycled. Those empty Second Cup, Starbucks and Tim Hortons cups should actually go into regular garbage”. Also according to CBC marketplace’s investigation disposable coffee cups collected for recycling are being sent to landfill (Griffith-Greene). Moreover, several Toronto Starbucks employees describe how some in store recycling bins had three holes for separating recyclables, but only one bag, So everything got mixed up together and was then thrown in the garbage dumpster (Erica Johnson).

The reason for lasting of coffee cups into garbage is several problems in the process of recycling of them. According to the several experts, coffee cups have a plastic lining so they are not recyclable with paper (GRIFFITH-Greene). Also in the article, “How to recycle paper cups” it is written that plastic and wax lining is too difficult to separate during the paper recycling process. This shows process of recycling of coffee cups is not easy and simple at all. According to the staff from Torstar news, “Last year, an estimated 45,000 tonnes of garbage was mistakenly deposited into the recycling stream, where it can end up damaging equipment, causing workplace injuries and ruining perfectly good recyclables”. From this we came to know that coffee cups can not get recycled directly without separating the plastic lining.

Although there are many problems in the process of recycling of coffee cups yet there are some solutions to solve these problems. Coffee cups could be made from that material which makes easier to recycle them. Coffee cups could be made of a single material for both parts (e.g. a waxed polycoat lid, or a polystyrene cup body), or by using a different cup design (Emilly Alferd). Also coffee shop retailers should give a big discount to customers who use reusable mugs (Mike Childs). By doing these efforts the problem of waste of coffee cups can be reduced.

In last, I conclude that to reduce the waste of coffee cups in the college, students can not re-design the coffee cups to make them recyclable but still they can use reusable mugs for coffee or change the habit of drinking more coffee. Students have to become conscious about the destruction of environment due to garbage and if they become conscious then they have to do such upper mentioned efforts to save environment.



Works Cited

Alferd, Emily. “coffee cups and recycling?”

Coffee cups!-Waste Free TO, 03 July. 2014.

Childs, Mike. “Why can’t coffee shops recycle all their cups?”

Friends of the Earth, 29 Mar. 2016.

“How to recycle paper cups.”

Johnson, Erica. “Tim Hortons, Starbucks knew paper cups were not recycled, employees say.”

CBC News, 6 Nov. 2015.

Griffith-Greene, Megan. “Coffee cups: 3 months later, are they being recycled at Tim Hortons and Starbucks?”

CBC News, 29 Jan. 2016.

“Why takeout coffee cups belong in the garbage, not recycling.” Metro News.

Torstar News Service, 19 June. 2016. Print.