Feel guilty every time you have to get a disposable cup for your latte? Soon you could be saying goodbye to that guilt, as the world’s first recyclable paper cup is about to hit the streets in the United Kingdom. Aren’t paper cups already recyclable, you ask? The answer is no – your traditional coffee cup is made from paper laminated with plastic to keep your drink warm and keep the liquid from soaking through, which makes them tough to recycle. But British entrepreneur and engineer Martin Myerscough, who also invented the ‘cardboard’ bottle, has come up with a solution. His Green Your Cup comes with a thin liner that’s designed to quickly separate from the paper during recycling, which means the cup can be recycled by simply putting it into your recycling bin like any other recyclable.
What’s the impact? The Guardian reports that more than 2.5 billion cups are thrown away each year in the UK alone – that’s 27,550 tons of waste, or enough to circle the world end-to-end five and a half times. To put it into perspective, Americans throw away about 25 billion coffee cups per year, or just less than half the worldwide total of 58 billion cups per year.
Myerscough is currently in discussions with coffee shop chains and supermarkets in the U.K. to put the cups into customers’ hands by the end of 2014. “In these times of limited resources and diminishing landfill space, a single-use cup that can’t be recycled is an indulgence we just cannot afford,” Myerscough told the Guardian. “I hope Green Your Cup will make a difference to how people think about the wastefulness of some of our everyday habits. You can recycle Green Your Cup with your paper and cardboard and it comes back as newspaper several times . . .”
Via the Guardian