The environmental impact of disposable cups is a tale of two problems. Firstly, there is the sheer number of cups used each year. The latest estimates predict that this is currently about 500 billion each year.

But that isn’t the whole story. As we will find out, disposable cups aren’t all that disposable. The environmental impact of disposable cups is reason enough for any business to consider their viability. But as we will discuss, there are plenty of other compelling reasons why going green is good for your business.

The Disposable Cup Problem

We are talking massive numbers here – 500 billion a year means we are using approximately 15,850 plastic cups every second. This is a staggering amount of waste and highlights the importance of reducing our use of single-use plastics to protect our environment.

But the bad news doesn’t stop there. If you consider the standard disposable coffee cup, it seems quite harmless. After all, it is mostly paper, albeit with a plastic coating. But this just compounds the problem.

The Recycling Problem

The problem is that the plastic coating prevents these from being recycled as paper products. Inversely, the paper inner prevents these from being recycled in plastic recycling plants. This type of cup needs specialist facilities for them to be recycled. The truth is that the vast majority will never see the inside of one of these facilities.

Even cups that are coated using vegetable-based plastics are far from perfect. These claim to be compostable but toss them in the home compost bin, and you will soon end up with a bin full of uncomposted plastic cups. The truth is that these cups can only be composted in commercial composting facilities.

With consumer habits changing to reflect the need for environmental responsibility, businesses need to change their habits to reflect this. Luckily, there is a perfect solution in the form of aqueous-coated paper cups. This type of paper cup degrades in about the same amount of time as a newspaper does. It can also be safely disposed of in any paper-recycling bin and will quite happily decompose in a home compost bin.

Switching to this type of cup makes complete sense for businesses. Here are just a few of the reasons why this is the case:

Why Businesses Need to Switch to Environmentally Friendly Disposable Cups

There are many compelling reasons for businesses to switch to environmentally friendly disposable cups and, as we will discuss, to make the switch sooner rather than later.

  • Environmental Responsibility

Coffee shops produce a large amount of waste every day, and disposable cups are a significant contributor to this waste. Aqueous-coated disposable cups are made from sustainable materials and are biodegradable or compostable. By using these cups, coffee shops can show their commitment to environmental responsibility and reduce their impact on the environment.

  • Customer Preference

Many consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and are actively seeking out businesses that demonstrate sustainable practices. By offering green disposable cups, coffee shops can appeal to these customers and differentiate themselves from competitors who are still using traditional disposable cups.

The fact is that consumers are increasingly turning against companies that aren’t taking their environmental responsibilities seriously enough. Unfortunately, disposable cups are a common source of litter and are a visible notification of a lack of green credentials.

  • Marketing and Branding

Coffee shops can leverage their use of green disposable cups as part of their branding and marketing strategies. They can highlight their commitment to sustainability and use it as a selling point to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

And you know that litter problem we discussed above. With your coffee cup proudly boasting its green credentials, this can add to your reputation as being a forward-thinking company with a responsible attitude to the environment.

  • Reduce Overheads

Not only can switching to environmentally friendly disposable cups boost profits by attracting more customers, but they can also help to reduce overheads. At first glance, this might seem counterintuitive as compostable disposable cups are slightly more expensive than traditional cups.

However, they can actually be more cost-effective in the long run. This is because many countries and cities are implementing regulations and fees for businesses that produce a large amount of waste. By using green disposable cups, coffee shops can avoid these fees and potentially save money in the long term.

  • Compliance With Legislation

As mentioned, there are increasing amounts of legislation being levied to reduce unnecessary waste. Even if your business isn’t currently affected by green regulations, it is only a matter of time.

By making sure you are ready for current or upcoming legislation, you are placing your business in a strong position to stay ahead of the pack. As already noted, it will also help your business avoid waste-related fees and penalties that many existing and proposed legislation changes can levy against non-compliant businesses.

Aqueous-Coated Disposable Cups: Convenience and Compostability

There are plenty of compelling reasons for coffee shops and other businesses that rely on disposable cups to change to a truly environmental option. That’s what aqueous-coated compostable cups bring to the table.

From enhancing your brand image to making sure your business is compliant with environmental regulations, making the switch will help to enhance your marketing and brand image. But most important of all, it will help to reduce the staggering amounts of traditional disposable cups that will be clogging up our landfill sites, oceans, and landscapes for centuries to come.


Ryan grew up in the beautiful Cornwall area. From an early age, he was appalled at just how much plastic littered the coastline of this stunning area. For the past seventeen years, he has been providing consultancy services to firms wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.