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Just paper? Answered

Do you have to use paper cups or can you use foam cups


 I'm a member of the betacup team.

We definitely agree that styrofoam cups are a big problem.  The betacup project is primarily focused on reducing paper cup consumption, and we're running this contest as a tie-in to the larger open innovation contest.  Consequently, for the Instructables contest, we're asking people to limit their projects to using paper cups.

Can not-coffee cups be used? I'm thinking a cup from a fast food place, or a slurpee cup, as long as it's paper?

Ironic, since the foam cups do their own substantial damage to the environment -- CFCs in fabrication, and no degradation in landfills.  Well, those limitations are, as always, up to the sponsoring organization.

It is up to the sponsor, but even so the styrofoam cup is the more environmentally friendly choice if the cups are going to a landfill, which most are. Their intent is up to them, but in that view it's better to reassess the paper cup.

Is that true now?  Does modern styrofoam degrade better than it used to?  I've seen "compostable" foam made from corn byproducts, but it always seems too pricey (e.g., at Smart and Final) for companies to choose it in bulk.

MAYBE they are looking at:  
 paper cups = dead trees
styrofoam = soil airation without "poisoning"
Just my guess....

Ed, would you consider locking "localtalent"'s posting (see the bottom)?  Coming from the sponsor directly is pretty nice, but no one is going to see it all the way down there.

Sorry but the styrofoam cups are NOT enviro friendly. It takes 15 years or more to degrade them. Paper degrades much much faster.But like you said the sponsor can do what they want.

Believe it or not, it takes far fewer resources to make the styrofoam (polystyrene, really) cups. Combine that with the fact that many places give out java jackets or even double cup the paper cups and it's an even bigger winner.

As for biodegrading, many of the landfills are anaerobic so those paper cups aren't breaking down any time soon either.

I'm not saying that they're really earth friendly, just more so than paper cups.

So what if they are more enviro unfriendly, but when you really think about it. almost all the places that are selling coffee now only offer paper cups. The amount of paper cups that are used around the world I am sure is much greater than foam

Actually, landfills are less degrade friendly than one would think.  Last year in science class, our teacher showed us a bunch of photos of trash from a landfill.  One of them was the front page of a newspaper with the Apollo 11 landing as a headline.  The only aging the newspaper had gone through was it was dirty and slightly older looking.  The enviro friendly option comes down to which was more friendly during processing. 

(I do not know much about the new landfills with various venting and other new technology.)