You would be hard pressed to find many people in your social circle that do not frequent the local coffee shop. For many, the visit to the local is a daily morning routine while for some it is a weekend relaxation ritual. Most locals will serve coffee in plastic Styrofoam cups whether you intend to have it on the go or in-house. Given that these cups are for the most part thought of as disposable, many people will just throw them out when they have had their shot of coffee. It is a hard habit to break especially when we have been doing it for so long. But did you know that glass coffee cups makes for better coffee drinking than any plastic cup ever could?
The following are the six ways in which your disposable plastic is a terrible coffee drinking cup:
Bad for the Environment and Bad for Your Health
While we tend to think of our plastic cups as easy to recycle, the EPA asserts that people throw away up to 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year. Given that these cups are made of plastic material, they do not degrade and could stay intact in the landfill where they have been dumped for up to 500 years. Moreover, your Styrofoam cup is made of a petroleum derivative known as polystyrene, which is a carcinogen. Research has shown that the styrene in the polystyrene tends to leak into the liquid in the container especially when it is hot.
While you may be thinking that paper cups should actually be disposable and totally environmentally friendly, think again. While they are definitely better than your Styrofoam cup, all paper cups have to be lined with polyethylene, a type of plastic that prevents the paper from absorbing your coffee and turning into something akin to your paper towel. Additionally, when that hot coffee is poured into the cup, the glue that holds the plastic onto the paper dissolves and leaks trace amounts of the toxin melamine into your beloved cup of coffee. Unfortunately for the environment, the paper cups which are made from a combination plastic and paper are also hard if not impossible to recycle, unlike your carton boxes or newspapers. Not to mention that coffee cups alone are responsible for more than 20 million trees that are cut down each year for their manufacture.
Both your paper and plastic coffee cups come with a plastic lid made of a material known as polystyrene. As we have already mentioned, polystyrene tends to leak a carcinogen known as styrene into your coffee. While you could technically ask your barista not to include the lid when you are taking your coffee from the shop, you will need the lid if you are taking it on the go. Everybody knows these plastic lids are not environmentally friendly, but you have to dispose of them when you are done drinking your coffee. These also end up in a landfill somewhere further polluting the environment.
Given that your plastic coffee cup leaks trace elements into your coffee, it tends to taste a little bit different. I am sure you do not want to ingest all manner of carcinogens and plastics just to have your dosage of morning coffee. But there is no escaping the fact that you will have other elements get into your coffee whenever you use plastic cups.
On the flip side, we have reusable coffee cups that are made of glass, which do not have so many of the disadvantages of the plastic coffee cup. Apart from not doing a lot of damage to the environment, reusable coffee cups have a lot of other benefits and provide a much more enjoyable coffee drinking experience compared to the plastic cup. In fact, many restaurants and cafes save for fast food joints only serve their coffee in glass coffee cups. If you are a coffee connoisseur check out the following benefits of the classic glass coffee cup.
Design and Beauty
If you are a coffee head, coffee for you is something of a ritual. Nothing makes a ritual as bland as the same old same plastic coffee cups. Now glass is a totally different animal. With glass, you can have all kinds of designs of coffee cup to choose from. Moreover, with glass, you can savor the contents of the coffee cup without having to drink it, which can provide a different kind of aesthetic appeal as compared to the bland opaque plastic Styrofoam cup. With a glass cup, no one decides what design you have to drink from, unlike your mass-produced plastic cups. Glass cups come in all manner of designs from the simple to the highly complex. You can have simple transparent designs or ornamented cups, which makes the cups a lot more appealing.
Glass cups, unlike the plastic, have high heat retention capacity. Plastics usually have very thin walls which means that they lose heat very rapidly. A hot coffee in a Styrofoam cup will be warm and even cold within 10 to 15 minutes, while a glass cup can retain heat for a significantly longer time. With a choice of design, you can have thicker glass cups and savor your coffee rather than having to rush against time before the hot cappuccino becomes an iced drink. Moreover, modern glass cups are made from composite materials which make them even better at retaining heat, making sure your coffee tastes better for longer.
Glass is significantly easier and cheaper to recycle than plastic as it often has very little impurities. As such, glass has a considerably less impact on the environment as compared to the plastic cup. Glass can be recycled almost anywhere and this can be done several times while retaining its high quality. Plastic cups, on the other hand, are difficult or almost impossible to recycle except if there exists expensive specialized equipment to do the job.
Glass especially coffee cups are designed to be more durable than your plastic disposable cup, which crumples and becomes almost useless after you use it only once. The durability of the glass means that you will save money since you will not have to be buying disposable cups all the time. You will also save a lot on space as you do not have to store a stack of plastic cups, all of which you have to dump into the bin after only one use.