Article

One coffee to go, please

From cosmetics to grocery bags and milk bottles, plastic is everywhere – some say that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Plastic is useful and convenient, and lasts from one generation to another – but that is exactly how this has become one of the greatest challenges of our time.

One coffee to go, please

In the UK alone, 7 million disposable coffee cups are used every day, meaning 2.5 billion coffee cups per year. Plastic and paper are among the most used materials to make disposable coffee cups. The first is derived from crude oil, while the second uses a renewable, biodegradable raw material.

A coffee cup needs to have certain characteristics: it has to be strong enough to keep the hot liquid inside while not burning fingers. Hygiene and safety are also critical – things that a regular consumer enjoying their morning takeaway coffee is not even aware of.

More than
90 %
of a paper cup is biodegradable.

A paper cup has all of these qualities and more: when recycled the cups fibers can be used multiple times. To be precise, more than 90 percent of a paper cup is bio-based and biodegradable. There is only one coated inner layer made of non-biodegradable materials that Kemira is constantly working on to replace with a more sustainable solution. This matters, because out of all the paper cups circulating around the globe, our chemistries are present in every second cup.

Sustainability consists of small choices we make. Seven million disposable coffee cups a day in the UK mean seven million decisions made every day. A steaming hot, nice Arabica for a takeaway does in fact have an impact on our unique planet – what do you drink your coffee out of?

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