Greenwashed Coffee Cups

I don’t mind when companies greenwash something, as long as the benefits are tangible to someone.  Hybrids aren’t nearly as environmentally friendly as one would wish, most paper doesn’t biodegrade in nearly the amount of time often stated, and local produce can generate more emissions depending on its location and the competing economies of scale.  My employer switched from polystyrene cups to paper cups for sizes over 8 oz in its cafeteria and the legion failings of paper came out quicky:

  • Paper doesn’t last through as many uses
  • Paper doesn’t insulate as well, making many users consume multiple cups
  • Paper often consumes more production resources

The thing that annoyed me most was that I have a coworker that horded cups.  If a meeting ended and there were extra cups, he’d take them.  He said “one day, the Styrofoam will be gone, and I’ll be ready. *cackle*”  I thought he was just being cheap, bastard was right.