I remember quite well when Starbucks first came to Austria. Their first branch was close to my school and so me and my friend would go there every week between classes to drink our hot milk (yes, they served hot milk back then) with sugar and other spices. A couple of years later I thought it was super cool to walk around in the city, looking busy with my Starbucks coffee to go in a hand. Sadly, I wasn’t they only person with this idea.
Meanwhile, every year more than 84 million single use cups are used in Vienna. While the average life span of a coffee cup is 15 minutes, the time it takes to decompose is more than 30 years. Most times they come with a single use lid and coffee sleeves, which lets the amount of waste even rise. The use of single use cups, comes with two major problems:
1. Throwing away the cups is like throwing away air. Even though the cups are empty, they do take up a lot of space (= “volume”) in a waste bin. Letting the amounts of waste rise artificially.
2. The cups can’t be recycled. The reason for it is simple and most times invisible for our eyes. The cups are lined with a thin layer of plastic. This makes them waterproof but not recyclable. The reason for it is because the thin layer of plastic can’t be separated from the paper in the recycling process. This means the cups will either be treated in a waste incineration plant (=they get burned) or even worse, they will go straight to landfill.
How can we solve the problem?
The solution to this problem is quite simple: Just bring your own cup :)
It might be difficult at first to ask the waiter to fill the coffee in your own cup. But the more often you ask, the easier it gets and the more comfortable you will feel.
Many coffee shops started offering discounts to customers who bring they own cup. So just bring your own cup, save some money and waste from going to landfill. Also, not only you avoid waste, but coffee shops do too.
3 pieces of trash = 1 reusable coffee cup
By using your own cup, you can save a lot of waste from going getting burned, or even worse, going to landfill.
Hey there, my name is Fiona. I love travelling and getting to know different cultures. Because of travelling I realised I don't need many things to live a happy life. My transformation started ten years ago with my first big trip to India, since then I live a very minimalistic lifestyle. For a couple of years now, it is not only minimalistic but also zero waste.
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