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We are a nation of caffeine addicts. It’s estimated that 50 billion paper coffee cups are being thrown away in the USA every year.

Most of us like to think we’re doing the right thing when we place our empty coffee cups in the bin marked “recycling,” unfortunately, it’s been revealed that only 1 in 400 coffee cups are recycled. Why? Because these cups are made out of a difficult-to-recycle mix of paper and plastic.

The problem is that “paper” cups are not actually simply made of paper but include a layer of polyethylene. This means they cannot simply be recycled with paper or cardboard and end up in landfill sites for decades. If we collected all the billions of paper cups that end up in landfill sites every year in the US and compared them against the height of the Space Needle in Seattle the mountain of cups would dwarf it in sight.

Next time you visit your favorite coffee shop before work, consider purchasing a reusable coffee cup that has less of an impact on the environment. If we make enough noise, large coffee companies will have no choice but to step up and start dealing with their woeful waste issue.

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