Contrary to popular advice, I often sweat the small stuff. Today, cups.

Coffee shops generate litter. Ideally, we should each tote around a mug to whip out whenever we need a caffeine fix. I try and do this as much as possible, but the paper cup is unlikely to be obsoleted.

Paper cups are not terrible because they can be recycled or composted, unlike (in most locations) styrofoam. Second Cup (my favourite coffee chain) uses cups by Dover Cup in Brampton, Ontario. Tim Horton's and several other shops and use a cup branded Conference Cup, made by Dopaco. I wonder, though—if MEC can use biodegragable plastic bags, why not rigid lids of the same material?

Also, Second Cup locations (including the one at College Street and King's College Road that I visit with healthy frequency), seem to switch at random from plastic to wooden stir sticks and back. At Tim Horton's they prepare your coffee for you, so these are done away with altogether. I find it unfortunate that bags of mostly compostable waste (coffee, grounds, sugar and packets, some stir sticks, cups) are put out as landfill garbage because of a few plastic items.

It is possible but likely not practical to separate the two, but why not use BPI-approved packaging so the entire waste stream can be composted? More info here.


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