Which is Your Cup of Tea: Paper and Recyclable Plastic or Styrofoam

In recent years, disposable utensils particularly disposable cups have garnered a lot of attention. Convenient, hygienic, and affordable, disposable cutlery and utensils are preferred by consumers and businesses alike.

If you’re a daily coffee drinker or a frequent takeout buyer, you must have come across various disposable utensils. From disposable cups to containers to straws, everything is now at our disposal for single-time use.

Considering the large number of disposable cups used and disposed of, the question arises: which disposable material is the best for the environment? From recyclable plastic to paper to Styrofoam, we have plenty of options.

But not all disposable cups are created equal! Let’s compare the three disposable cup materials and find out which is the fix for Mother Nature.

Landfill Waste

When it comes to landfill waste, Styrofoam cups—the least biodegradable and non-recyclable — make up about 30 percent of the global landfill. While Styrofoam remains to be the most used disposable cup material, over 2.3 million tons of waste isn’t worth it!

Paper and recyclable plastic are majorly recycled and thus not all of it makes it to landfills!

         Eco-friendly disposable cups


In terms of recyclability, 68 percent of paper was recycled in 2018 alone, making it the most recycled material. Plastic, albeit difficult, can also be recycled or reused, thus reducing its impact on the environment. On the other hand, Styrofoam cannot be recycled and every day, tons of Styrofoam disposable cups go to waste.

Environmental Impact

If you’re someone who’s always on the lookout for eco-friendly food packaging and containers, then Styrofoam isn’t your cup of tea! Styrofoam is non-degradable and thus small bits of it end up as sea waste. Known to be one of the biggest dangers to marine life, Styrofoam is least recommended by environmentalists.

On the other hand, paper has a higher environmental impact owing to the complicated manufacturing process. However, its recyclability still makes it a better alternative.

Opt for Eco-Friendly Branding!

If you’re on the lookout for eco-friendly shopping bags, food containers, and eco-friendly custom printed disposable cups for your business, reach out to us at Custom Cup Factory. We provide custom printed cups, restaurant supplies, and custom printed utensils in various designs and eco-friendly materials.