The two biggest contributors to litter waste are disposable water bottles and you guessed it, the disposable coffee cup. And it’s easily fixed if we stopped being so lazy and buy a reusable vessel for our water and coffee.
It is estimated that, in Australia alone, over 1 billion disposable coffee cups end up in landfill every year. The worst part of it all is that they are actually not biodegradable as they are lined with a plastic film to keep your coffee from spilling out.
Disposable plastic water bottles are an even bigger issue. Its plastic, it doesn’t just go away. In Australia, aside from South Australia, there is not incentive for consumers to dispose of bottles and cans in a constructive way. Sure we put them in the yellow bin, but do you really know what happens to them?
And before you get the wrong idea, I’m not some kind of eco-warrior, I really am not. Until recently I bought at least 2 coffees a day from my local barista in a disposable take away cup and had supermarket bought plastic Evian water bottles.
So what’s the alternative? Reusable drinking vessel options!
Reusable Coffee Cups
You’ve probably seen quite a few people lately carrying around one of these reusable coffee cups. There are quite a few brands out there at the moment who make them, but not all are created equally, that’s for sure.
I like the ones from a brand called KeepCup. A few reasons – The come in a variety of sizes that are barista standard sized. I can have one in either a plastic material, standard glass or double-walled glass. I can close off the lid, which is especially handy on a bumpy bus, train or subway ride. And most of all, I can create my own and have it sent to me!
Sure, KeepCup Originals are made of plastic, but “KeepCup is also less plastic. Disposable cups are lined with polyethylene and have a polystyrene lid, so there is enough plastic in 28 disposable cups to make one small KeepCup” – according to KeepCup’s CEO Abigail Forsyth.
No, this is not a sponsored post for KeepCup, I just like the brand and what they’re trying to accomplish.
Check them out on their website: www.keepcup.com
Reusable Water Bottles
Tackling the biggest contributor to landfill, the disposable plastic water bottle, is going to be a slightly tougher fight. In Australia, supermarkets are not going to range products like Coca-Cola No Sugar, because they want to expand their offering of bottled water. Say what now?! The tap water in Australia is great! Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Why on earth do we need to buy more bottled water? Madness.
I recently bought one of those insulated metal water bottles – similar to the one pictured above on the far right. Absolutely brilliant. As some of you will know, it can get quite hot here in Sydney and having a bottle that keeps my water cold on a hot day is going to be #1 on my list.
Disposable plastic water bottles are really only “1 use only”
Another reason to buy a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable one is that the plastic in a disposable one may be what they call “food grade”, but it is really only for a single use. Most people will say that they keep filling up that bottle they bought, but the plastic in the disposable bottle isn’t really meant for that purpose….
I’ve selected a few options that might have different applications depending on the way you are on the move (from left to right):
- Memobottle A6 (375ml) – Love this idea, the size of an A6 piece of paper and flat to fit in easily into your bag. Also comes in A5 (750ml) size.
- KOR Nava (700ml) – Filter water bottle. Actually filters the water while you drink from the bottle.
- S’Well Bottle – Insulated metal bottle for your drinks. Comes in dozens of colours and prints. Most are available in either 500ml or 750ml.
So, what other everyday disposable products you take for granted would you like to see become reusable? Let us know in the comments below!
And with Christmas only 10 weeks away, these items make great, inexpensive gifts for family and friends.
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