What helps keep the coffee hot and the transportation materials safe? Styrofoam. However, this material has caused controversy in recent years for good reasons. It has proven to be very useful, but unfortunately, its use can bring complications to our planet and our health. Let's go back to the bottom of the question: Why are styrofoam coffee cups harmful to the environment?
What is polystyrene foam? "Polystyrene foam" is the registered trademark name of the Dow Chemical Company's building materials products. However, it is often used when talking about anything made of expanded polystyrene (EPS). This includes packaging peanuts, egg cartons, foam packaging, building insulation materials and disposable coffee cups. How are styrofoam cups made? Like other plastics, polystyrene is a polymer; long repeating chains of monomers (small molecules). It is made from hydrocarbons such as benzene and ethylene and requires raw materials such as natural gas and petroleum. To At the beginning of the manufacturing process, polystyrene was initially small, dense, hard beads. Using heat and steam, these beads are softened and expanded and eventually become larger, so the density decreases. In fact, if you look at a piece of polystyrene foam, you might actually be able to see these beads. To Like other plastics, polystyrene can be thermoformed, molded or extruded into a variety of different shapes and sizes. After cooling, polystyrene has multiple lightweight, expanded cells that can be used as an excellent insulator and shock absorber. It is commonly used in disposable food and beverage packaging, coolers and bicycle helmets.
How many foam coffee cups are produced each year? Polystyrene has been around since the 1930s and first entered coffee cups in the 1960s. Although the foam cup has not been around for a long time, it has long been infamous. It is estimated that in the United States, more than 3 million tons of polystyrene are produced annually. This means that 25 billion polystyrene cups are thrown away every year. To Compared with other wastes, polystyrene is firstly related to most wastes. In fact, this material accounts for 30% of the global landfill quality. In the United States alone, approximately 1,369 tons of polystyrene end up in landfills every day. To Fortunately, this situation is changing as some of the largest users of large companies begin to phase out the material. In 2018, McDonald's began to abandon polystyrene foam and agreed to phase out sandwich packaging decades before 1990. By 2020, we will no longer use polystyrene, but use paper cups.
There is no doubt that Styrofoam serves many purposes in an economical way, but it has caused a huge loss to the environment. Fortunately, we are now living in an era where it is easier to keep coffee hot and our planet healthy. We can all do our part by switching to alternatives to styrofoam coffee cups-paper cups or biodegradable cups.