Did you know that it takes 500 years for a Styrofoam cup to disintegrate? One cup!
We use 25 billion pounds of styrofoam each year. For you personally, that means if you buy a cup of coffee every day, you create 23 pounds of waste each year.
Take a deep breath and just let that fact sink in. I was shocked! Why on earth can we not recycle or find a better substitute for these deadly pollutants?
What if we were to drive up to Dunkin Donuts with a thermal travel cup and ask for our coffee in that? I would think that Dunkin Donuts would appreciate the savings (10 cents), and we would have the warm fuzzy feeling of one less Styrofoam cup polluting the earth.
You can’t do that! Do you want to know why? According to a source within the Dunkin Donut establishment, the local Health Department here in Florida, prohibits the exchange of new or used beverage containers being passed through the drive up window.
Yep. Apparently, your clean travel mug is a health hazard. Germs might migrate into the restaurant. You’ve got to be kidding! Have we lost our minds? The employees working there handle our money, touch our cups, grab our donuts…and I am sure go to the bathroom and DO NOT wash their hands every time (I know, I’ve worked in the restaurant business)!
India's tradition provides a possible solution. Not only does this practice provide employment, but it also protects the environment. They make tiny clay cups where the Chai tea is poured. After finishing the tea, it is tradition to throw the clay cup onto the ground, listen to it "pop", and stomp the broken shards into the ground, letting the sun bake it back into the earth.
Guess what? The World Health Organization is saying that this practice is unsanitary...
What can I say?