There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.
The matter of environmental consciousness and sustainability is no longer “a nice thing to be mindful of” or a desirable factor to consider, but an absolutely essential criterion when concerning the running of a business.
With recent media concentration surrounding disposable cups and the impact of these on the environment we have seen a huge increase in the demand for a more environmentally friendly option.
We at Coffee 2u not only pride ourselves in providing coffee from sustainable sources but have now added a range of environmentally resonsible products to our ever growing range.
Options now include;
- Single wall compostable cups
- Double wall compostable cups
- Compostable lids
- Compostable paper straws
- Reusable Rice husk cups
It has been generally assumed for many years that the best way to dispose of takeaway cups is in the recycling. However, as recent media campaigns have highlighted, this is not the case.
Traditional disposable cups are lined with a plastic membrane, derived from the finite resource of oil, this ensures they are waterproof for the purpose of holding beverages, it is this lining that makes it difficult to separate from the paper at waste plants. The plastic polythene lining is also hugely resistant to degradation, as a result of this they are considered a ‘contaminant’ at recycling centres and so are dumped in landfill, here the cups can take up to 30 years to breakdown, releasing greenhouse gasses as they decompose.
Food packaging that has been contaminated with food cannot be recycled due to the oil compounds affecting the recycling process; therefore the only realistic solution for single use food products is to provide a compostable alternative.
Our new cups are lined with PLA, Plant-based polylactic acid and are made with food grade paper board. Our cups have a much lower carbon-footprint stemming from their plant beginnings and are 100% compostable. As they are made from plants, not plastic, they can be disposed of with food waste, or ideally industrially composted and will leave no negative impact on our environment.
One of the biggest questions that has arisen since the ‘cup debate’ has been concerning the time scale it takes for these compostable products to break down. The most effective way for the compostable cups to be disposed of is by means of industrial composting. The speed of decomposition of PLA is highly dependent on the composting environment; both temperature and moisture will contribute to decomposition times. In a controlled composting environment, the biodegradable products industry claims decomposition by up to 90 days, this is a huge difference compared to their plastic lined counterparts which can remain in landfill for decades.
Compostables are still a very new product on the market, and so the facilities associated with their disposal are still limited. However there are collection companies available (please link simply cups.) See simply cups for more information. Where collections are not yet possible some composting systems at home or at work can support the decomposition.
The more businesses that make the change and switch to compostable products, the better. Single use disposables use the earth finite resources and when they break down they release harmful toxins. Even if PLA lined compostable cups don’t end up in a composting environment and do go into landfill, they are still able to decompose at an ambient temperature, although it will take longer than at in industrial facility; there are no greenhouse gasses released and zero impact biomass is all that remains. Further, the more businesses that are using compostable products, the more call there will be to facilitate proper industrial collections.
Coffee 2u can also help with incentives to encourage your clients to get on board with environmental consciousness, please see our ‘branding and personalisation’ section of our website for more information. (link with information on branding for HORECA, including loyalty stamp cards etc?)
Reusable products have seen a huge increase in popularity. Our reusable cups are not only and solution to single use products but go one step further; they are made of organic rice husk, 80% husk and 20% plant resin, making them a brilliant eco alternative.
The risk husk, or hull, is the coating on a seed or grain of rice and is considered agricultural waste and is usually incinerated. However with increasing demand for sustainable products, this by product’s use is sure to grow. A rice husk cup can be reused thousands of times.
Our rice husk cups are naturally insulating and have antibacterial properties, they are microwave and dishwasher safe and come with a sealable lid to avoid spills. They come in a variety of sizes and colours and can even be branded for your business. (LINK) Please see our branding section for further information.
The Rice husk cup has the look and durability of plastic but will leave no negative environmental impact at the end of its life; it can even be buried in the soil to decompose naturally and become part of nature again.