The exact number of single-use coffee cups thrown away globally is difficult to determine, as it can vary significantly depending on various factors such as population, coffee consumption habits, and waste management practices in different regions. However, single-use coffee cups are a significant source of waste worldwide.
To provide some context, in Ireland alone '22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour, that is 528,000 every day or 200 million a year' according to a 2018 study carried out by mywaste.
These are harrowing figures, especially since we are so aware that coffee has gained popularity since the pandemic. When everything was closed down, people could still go for a walk and pick up a coffee as a treat. A 2022 study carried out by the National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) found that daily coffee consumption in 18-24-year-olds increased by 51%. During this time, leaving your reusable cup at home was also advised for sanitary reasons. So, I think it's safe to say that the current figures are a lot higher than the 2018 study.
It is important to note that the majority of single-use coffee cups are not recyclable due to their complex composition, which often includes a plastic lining to make them waterproof. This makes their disposal a significant environmental concern, as they contribute to plastic pollution and landfill waste.
To address this issue, many initiatives have been launched to promote reusable coffee cups and encourage individuals to bring their own cups to coffee shops. These efforts aim to reduce the reliance on single-use cups and minimize the associated environmental impact.
It is crucial that we all do our bit. Picking up a good reusable cup is one way to start. Whether you like to make your coffee at home or pick one up in a coffee shop, the Cliste Cup is a good place to start.