Which is more eco-friendly? how to weigh the options? eco-friendly, bio degradable paper cups or easier and sturdier but non bio-degradable Styrofoam or plastic cups?
The standard debate usually sees all four corners of the ring raising the Styrofoam flag!! strange but true!
Despite Styrofoam being non-biodegradable most critics of paper cups compare a Styrofoam cup with single wall paper cups when comparing insulation and then adds to it the cost of the cup sleeves to show how costly it is.
This way, despite Styrofoam being easily broken into pieces resulting in choking hazards for children and animals, the cost difference in compensating for insulation with sleeves is shown as a guiding factor in choosing Styrofoam over paper cups.
This argument is then strengthened with the fact that some paper cups are not easily bio degradable or recyclable if there is a wax coating on them. Thus despite being a 20 year degradable compost for land fills, paper cups are often forcibly pushed behind the potential threat of Styrofoam cups, which are not bio degradable at all.
This is a very strange discussion or a potent blog post that we see all across the internet, and we fail to understand this hostility towards paper cups, is it merely that it costs a little more than the cheap Styrofoam cups?
For till now, we too restricted ourselves to what many proponents of Styrofoam cups say, we intentionally did not mention the double wall paper cups.
Did you ever hear about it earlier? I bet you did, you even used it while drinking coffee at your nearest outlet, since most responsible outlets use paper cups. But while reading about the cup war, you too took Styrofoams side!
Yes, you are right, from now onward the insulation point in this argument stands null and void, you know why! the double wall paper cups provide as good an insulation without any extra sleeve as a Styrofoam cup can!
Now the only point of argument that remains is the cost factor, many people note that environmental cost of production of paper cups is much higher than that of Styrofoam cups, but I wonder how this argument holds! Even if cost on environment is high, they being degradable in 20 years already reduce the load on land fills, while procuring pulp from responsible tree farms reduce the stress of deforestation too. So, if we calculate at both ends, we would find paper cups to be more environment friendly at the cost of being fractionally costlier.
This cost is also offset by a very important fact that if you are branding your cups, high definition printing is 100% more aesthetically and technically superior on paper than on Styrofoam.
Thus, plastic being completely out of contention when it comes to hot drinks, for us, paper cups win by a very good margin.