Why do we use polystyrene foam cups?
Many of you have asked us about our polystyrene foam cups and whether there is a more environmentally friendly cup that we can use. We’ve done a lot of research to make sure we are offering the best environmental options. The short answer is that, although we will continue to look for the greener options as they become available, polystyrene foam is actually our best choice at this time.
Why don’t we use paper cups?
In order to prevent seeping and to enhance insulation, paper cups must be coated with polyethylene (PE) plastic (like paper coffee cups) or wax (like soda cups) and are therefore essentially non-recyclable, non-compostable, and non-biodegradable. In addition, PE plastic-coated paper cups with a corrugated insulation sleeve require more than 2X as much energy to produce as our current polystyrene foam cups, and wax coated cups require more than 3X as much energy! Polystyrene foam also results in significantly less solid waste by both weight and volume as compared to PE plastic coated cups.
Why not use biopolymer-based cups?
Biopolymer cups, manufactured from renewable resources (i.e. corn), are becoming popular because, although not recyclable, they are compostable. The reality is that because there are no commercial composting facilities in the Tri County area, virtually all of these cups (except those home composted) end up in an anaerobic land fill where they don’t decompose.
Should commercial composting become available locally we’ll re-examine this option.
Is polystyrene foam recyclable?
Our current polystyrene foam cups are, in fact, recyclable. Unfortunately, the infrastructure necessary to accomplish this is not currently in place in the Tri-County area. In many places, including Los Angeles, polystyrene foam is being recycled. Blenders In The Grass is actively lobbying to get a similar recycling program in place locally.
We’ll use it the moment it becomes available.
How we can make a difference!
While we feel that polystyrene foam is currently our best cup option, we realize that the best thing we can do for the environment is to limit the use of single-use cups.
To help achieve this, we are excited to offer a 25¢ discount any time we don’t have to use one of our cups. You can bring in one of our mugs, any cup of yours, or even reuse one of our cups; your choice.