500 Billion Plastic Cups & Growing...
We all know about the damage single-use plastics cause. Perhaps even more well known is the widespread use of plastic straws which are thankfully being banned from sale across the world.
Single-use coffee cups though are still abundant. So the question is - are these single-use plastics somehow being ignored by us when others, like straws and plastic bags, are not?
Coffee drinking has exploded over the last couple of decades. It is much more than a thirst-quenching drink. Today even countries like China are now coming to appreciate coffee’s allure with global corporations fast to see the opportunity. Starbucks alone are opening a new store every 15 hours in China (yes that is a crazy statistic!). To balance this point it must also be said they are considering putting the UK operation up for sale, so not all markets are thriving so much. Starbucks have openly stated that their Chinese operation could one day eclipse the US market!
The reasons for this are numerous and complex. It is certainly interesting to see coffee start to grow rapidly in a country where tea has for so long been seen as a ritual. A thing of beauty perhaps, similar in some ways to fine wines from the vineyards of Europe?
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's remember why all of this is so important. Although nothing may be wrong with the growth in new markets - plus of course there is nothing wrong about coffee(!) - the problem lies in the methods we use to consume it and in our habits during purchasing it.
Time for the headline stat... the world uses 500,000,000,000 (yes that's BILLION) coffee cups yearly and this figure is set to grow. That is almost 1 million a second and when you realise the resulting mountain of plastic waste it is not difficult to understand the world has one very large problem with coffee today.
Onto the good news. There are solutions and a growing number of us are turning to them. It is crucial to get across that every ONE of us can really make a difference. Reusable coffee cups are here to stay. Find one you like, look after it and it will not only look after you in return but also the Planet.
This article took you approximately 90 seconds to read. By our calculations that is 90 million more cups the world has used… Just think about that (but not for too long) and begin the change.
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