Updated: Apr 8
As we are becoming more aware of the impacts we have on the environment we start pin pointing the major environmental issues in society and what we can do to solve these problems.
One of the eco-friendly products which has recently been growing in popularity are you guessed it... reusable coffee cups. According to the ABC It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. Richard Fine, who founded biodegradable coffee cup manufacturer Biopak a decade ago, estimated up to 90 per cent of all disposable cups ended up in landfill, equating to around 60,000 kilograms of plastic waste per annum.
Although you might think you are doing the right thing in buying a reusable bamboo coffee cup do you know how they are made and what they are made from? The idea is great and i'm sorry to tell you but these products are actually quite toxic both to you and the environment and heres why:
The mugs are not recyclable and don't biodegrade for years - meaning they end up in landfill or incinerators.
Tests found the glue used to manufacture 'eco-friendly' bamboo mugs is made from formaldehyde and melamine - which leach into hot liquids left in the cups.
Respected German consumer group Stiftung Warrentest tested 12 different types of bamboo cup.
They said: "Buyers get the impression that they are purchasing a pure natural product. In fact, the coffee-to-go cups are made of finely ground bamboo fibres. But the powder alone does not make a cup."
They said melamine resin, made of melamine and formaldehyde, is used to bind the fibres together into a mug shape and provide a thick plastic surface.
The group added: "Our advice: Keep your hands away from bamboo cups. From more than half of the cups tested, very large quantities of melamine are converted into the beverage."
They went on: "For reusable drinks, use reusable cups made of materials other than bamboo."
In lab experiments, Stiftung Warrentest found melamine resin in all cups.
Not only is the formaldehyde in the melamine resin toxic to you but it is also toxic to our environment. When animals are exposed to formaldehyde it can make them sick, affect their ability to breed, and reduce their life spans. It can also change their behaviour and appearance. Formaldehyde is highly toxic to aquatic life - the fish, shellfish and other creatures in our rivers, lakes and oceans.
So there you have it, bamboo coffee cups are unfortunately a NO GO...
Here I have found some non toxic, sustainable, reusable coffee cups:
Biomes Collection: Click Here
The Well Stores Collection: Click Here
Personally I prefer a Stainless Steel Thermal Cup.
Let us know what your thoughts are on this topic?
Takeaway coffee cups piling up in landfill as Australia's caffeine habit soars:
Bamboo Cups Are Not What They’re Hyped Up To Be:
Reusable bamboo cups can release dangerous chemicals into coffee:
The Negative effects of Formaldehyde on the environment: