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Litter & Coffee Cups June 2, 2009


Good Morning!I was just out walking the dog and, YET AGAIN, I saw paper coffee cups littering the ground. There must have been a soccer game last night. What’s up with the cups??? Why aren’t all paper coffee cups compostable or biodegradeable and why do people feel compelled to throw them on the ground instead of in a garbage can? I AM going to do some RESEARCH about the cups…… I know that Tracy uses only compostable paper cups when she serves take-out coffee at the market, but why doesn’t everyone use them? If a small company can afford them, why not a BIG company??? It’s a BIG PROBLEM! Look around – in parking lots, along the side of roads, especially commuter routes – they’re everywhere!  TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!  And, please, TAKE PICTURES OF THE LITTER if you have your camera handy….I’ll post them here.  Well, that’s my morning RANT. Now I will have to look into getting the facts.



5 Responses to “Litter & Coffee Cups”

  1. Laura Says:

    P.S. Here is a link to an article in the Toronto Star about coffee cups and trash… would YOU be willing to pay a small, refundable deposit on your paper coffee cups? Or SEPARATE the lid from the cup yourself, so both could go to recycling? I would…. what do you think Tracy? Are you interested in setting up some disposal bins for this purpose at the market? What about the cups themselves? I thought they COULD NOT be recycled???

    • Tracy Says:

      actually – I already do – sort of…. we have a small garbage can…. at the end of the day I compost some of the cups (testing purposes) – and the rest go in recycling – most of our clients drop their cup back to us…. we also recycle all of the grounds – to garden mulch and worm food… our local farmers use our used coffee stir sticks to stake their seedling flowers… so really – we have no garbage… neat huh? Farmers are the BEST recyclers around! we use sugar dispensers and milk cartons (cartons are recyclable)

      Hey – you know – for the avid gardener – planting your seeds in a compostable cup might be a good idea – you don’t have to transplant! (not sure if this would work>?) this would be a great solution to compostables – anyone want to try?

      I don’t think anyone knows what to do with polystyrene – or composite cups – and of course the worst offenders are the 350 million paper cups every year sprayed with glue and polypropylene ending up on the street because recyclers don’t want them…

      Funny thing though- everyone leaves the lid on the cup – I was speaking with someone from our local recycling plant recently ….

      it’s all in the sorting for them – sure – there’s a degree of forgiveness in the machines – but for the most part, plastics really mess things up if in the wrong vat…

      I know scientists are working on a PLA (cornstarch)hot drink lid – but since cornstarch breaks down with heat – they are not ready for hot lids yet – we do carry the cold cups and straws for ice coffee – (again – no PLA lids)… so for now – all we can do is use recycled plastic lids…. and sort them

      even better – lug a mug – a glass jar – or thermos…. or…???

  2. kyotocoffee Says:

    Wow….. I’m a learning so much right now! The lid does seem to be a BIG part of the PROBLEM. Can you set up a bin and a sign asking people to please separate their lids from their cups so they can be recycled?? It’s a start. I love that you use compostable cups… but they can’t go into the compost with those lids!! All the SMART PEOPLE OUT THERE – YOU WOULD THINK THEY COULD COME UP WITH A SOLUTION!!!! Calling all engineers!! Hey, I’m going to post a new poll – would you be willing to pay a refundable deposit for paper cup and lid, or higher taxes??? This is what is being suggested as a solution in many cities!!

    • Laura Says:

      Good News…. for Toronto anyway. I just heard that Timmy’s are putting recycle bins for both lids and cups in their Toronto locations. It’s a start for big companies…. It still doesn’t stop people from throwing their cups on the ground – hopefully it will help to raise awareness. I hope it doesn’t take a tax to stop coffee cup litter!

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