Getting coffee is part of our culture. People get coffee to go on dates, interview for a job and a lot of the time to just start the day. That experience of meeting somewhere for a drink with friends and family has become ingrained into how we socialise. Besides the price when you sit in to enjoy a coffee it’s not all bad, the problem comes when getting coffee to go.
Those paper coffee cups are not as innocent as they seem. How long does it take a coffee cup to break down?
The plastic lining on the inside of these cups often means that they can’t be effectively recycled. This means that your “paper” cup ends up in landfill and massively contributes to our waste problem.
The EU is working to ban single-use coffee cups by 2030, but right now that’s still 10 years away. With up to 7 million cups being used per day in the UK, that’s an additional 25 billion single-use cups being used in that time. This ban will not get here soon enough to make a real difference.
At the start of the year, I made the decision to no longer buy coffee in single-use cups, a bit of a new year’s resolution. It’s now May 2020 and, helped slightly by quarantine shutting the coffee shops, I still haven’t used a paper coffee cup.
I would have one coffee a morning typically, 3 days a week. If we hadn’t been quarantined and my habits hadn’t changed that would be 48 coffee cups used and approximately £124.80 spent. If you’re ever looking for a reason to break a habit, look up how much it costs you per month. This cost per use trick works really well for giving up coffee, cigarettes and buying lunch out every week.
The best way I found to switch from paper cups is to invest in a good travel mug and a nice coffee to make at home. I found a Thermos travel flask for under £10 and Aldi’s coffee for under £2 is on par, if not better, than what you get from Costa or another chain. Once you’ve found the right replacements for your coffee, it’s easy to give up paper cups.
If you really want your Starbucks coffee and do not want to make it at home. The majority of the coffee chains on the highstreet will happily make coffee in the cup you bring and some will even add a discount as a thank you for making the switch. Check out our resources for which ones will do this.
This is the best way to condition yourself to not just randomly go in for coffee and ultimately you’ll break the paper cup habit.