I don’t generally have a coffee on my journey to work. But the other day there was still coffee in the cafetiere and no time left, so I poured it into my stainless steel cup which falls somewhere between a “coffee to go” cup and a Thermos, and took it with me. By the time I was sat on the train about an hour later it was still piping hot.
Maybe it was because I happened to be drinking a coffee that day that I took more notice of the others on the train, because I had not particularly noticed before. In just one carriage, and it was not particularly busy, I counted 20 people sipping cups of tea or coffee. Now given all the recent media coverage, Hugh’s War on Waste campaign and even articles in the Metro I was reading on the train that morning, you might think awareness of the coffee cup waste issue would be up a bit. So how many do you think had their drink in a reusable cup or flask?
Me. Just me.
So it made me think. Is the message actually getting out there? And if it is, why don’t people care? Are those of us trying to reduce our waste just sharing our disgust at the rubbish produced amongst ourselves? Are we preaching to the converted?
I truly hope not, and that little by little, the number of people thinking about such issues is increasing. I was certainly not expecting to see no disposable cups, but 19 out of 20, now that really is rubbish.
An estimated 2.5 million paper cups are thrown away in the UK each year – that’s almost 5,000 a minute. Less than 1% are recycled. ( rivercottage.net)