Claim: Plastic Coffee Cup Ban Might Increase Methane Emissions

Essay by Eric Worrall

Should coffee just be banned? Having fought hard to ban plastic coffee cups, Aussie greens have realised solving plastic pollution with compostable cups might increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Why there’s concern this state’s ban on plastic takeaway coffee cups could have unintended consequences

One state is implementing a ban on takeaway coffee cups that are used widely across the country, but waste reduction advocates say the plan may not have its intended effect.

  • Western Australia’s takeaway coffee cup ban comes into effect from 27 February.
  • An estimated 1.84 billion single-use cups are used by Australians every year.
  • Compostable coffee cups can still be sold but advocates say the infrastructure to properly process these cups is not accessible.

Western Australia is set to ban certain cups normally used for takeaway coffee as part of ongoing 

efforts to stamp out single-use plastic


From 27 February, the cups — which are also widely used by cafés across Australia — will be banned from being sold in WA.

While much of the body of the coffee cups are made of cardboard, they are usually lined in plastic so the liquid doesn’t make the cup soggy.

But those advocating to reduce waste are encouraging people to use reusable coffee cups where they can, as the compostable alternatives may not be as environmentally friendly as people had hoped.

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Of course, reusable food products are not as hygienic as disposable, so all these superbugs greens fear are more likely to be transmitted by say accidentally touching a drink dispenser with a contaminated reusable cup.

There is only one solution – reusable coffee cups will have to be made of silver. Silver has well known anti-bacterial properties, and does not pose a significant environmental hazard or greenhouse threat. Of course, silver is a good heat conductor, so they might need to wait for the coffee to cool down before drinking.

via Watts Up With That?

February 15, 2023 at 12:05PM

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