How many trees are cut down every year to create single use disposable cups for the sake of convince?
As you’ll sadly remember Comrade, it’s estimated that 500 billion disposable cups are discarded to landfill every year. That’s one million cups a minute, every hour, every day of every year.
We know the appalling statistics – we witness them on a daily basis.
What’s even more staggering Comrade, is the ugly underbelly that underpins the manufacturing industry for these tiny heinous products.
Deforestation: According to Sustainability Is Sexy more than 6.5 million trees were cut down in 2006 to create the 16 billion paper cups thrown away.
Why don’t manufacturers use recycled paper? Firstly, FDA regulations are strict when it comes to allowing recycled paper pulp to be in direct contact with food and beverages. Secondly, recycled paper isn’t strong enough to hold a liquid.
Therefore, most paper cups are made from 100% virgin paperwood.
Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture.
Paper-making is a harsh, destructive extremely resource intensive process.
Not only does it involve stripping the land to create wastelands and deserts, the pulping industry also contributes devastating environmental impacts.
Such as air pollution, water pollution and waste.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are all emitted during paper manufacturing. Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide are major contributors of acid rain, whereas CO2 is a greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.
Wastewater discharges for a pulp and paper mill contains solids, nutrients and dissolved organic matter which will dissolved in fresh water, exacerbate eutrophication (the ecosystem’s response to the addition of artificial or natural substances)
of fresh water bodies and (in sever cases) kill higher living organisms.
Paper waste like other wastes faces the additional hazard of toxic inks, dyes and polymers that could be potentially carcinogenic when incinerated, or comingled with groundwater via traditional burial methods such as modern landfills.Fortunately most the paper industries in the US, Australia and Europe manage their forestry with sustainable practices but the production of paper products still continues to have a profound effect on our planet.
Trees are like Carbon Dioxide sponges and with every dimished tree we remove the planets natural Carbon Dioxide filter and also release more carbon into the atmosphere from the soil.
(The process of Carbon absorption by trees compacts into the soil where, after millions of years, it creates the fossil fuels.)
Cutting down trees, exposes this soil and allows this carbon stored in the soil to be released back into the atmosphere.)
Every cup ever manufactured associates an exhaustive list of environmental problems, which are only accentuated by their widespread usage among coffee drinkers. The entire process requires a substantial amount of water, energy… and a lot of trees.
Respect our beautiful resources and say no to disposable cups. #endthecupmadness
 The Environmental impact of paper, 2015.
Image source: <http://www.conbio.info/post/tag/forest-industry/>