Title: [GreenYes] Re: Reusable Cups
The simple answer would be to try to find some method of using a cup
that you bring with you, or which is biodegradable, etc.
But this is actually a systemic problem.
Studies have (apparently) shown that disposable cups and reusable
cups are about even in terms of resource & energy use. But that's
because we use so much water and energy in washing cups. And at
present, all the energy is wasted (down the drain) rather than
recovered through the use of heat exchangers on the waste water. And
all the water is mixed with faecally contaminated water, and disposed
of in a sewage treatment plant (if we're lucky).
If instead we had a heat exchanger & water reuse device on every
dishwasher, this would be a no-brainer. Studies would then show that
it is much better in terms of energy/resource use to buy cutlery that
could be washed, and then used and reused and reused and reused it
until it's worn out.
We all would then switch back to visiting restaurants that serve food
on real plates, and on real cups. Rather than the 'one use and then to
the waste disposal stream' model that fast food restaurants currently
So rather than trying to find a work-around for a systemic problem, we
should be trying to attack the problem higher up the stream. It is
only because our use of water and energy in washing/drying cutlery is
so terrible, that we are even thinking about using disposable plates,
cups, knives, forks, etc.
On Jun 13, 4:34 pm, "Karen Bograd" <kbog...@no.address> wrote:
> I was eating lunch with some friends yesterday, and we noticed how much
> waste we accumulated just during our simple lunch. One of the major items
> being the single use cups for our drinks. As we sat there, we discussed what
> could be done to have a certified reusable cup that one could bring in to
> any fast/fast like food place to use. Understanding, of course, that there
> would be a fee for the drink, but one that is less than what is currently
> As the resident environmentalist in the group, I was tasked to find out if
> this idea has been explored before, what are the issues surrounding it,
> Thank you for any information you might have on this idea.
> Karen Bograd
> Administrative Services Manager
> Phoenix Resources Recycling
> (919) 787-0883
> We Shred ... Then Recycle!