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The challenge of the disposable plastic cup

A freshly squeezed pineapple juice on the local market; A rum punch at the Caribbean street party. A Greek frappe. A beer at the music festival. Local yumminess and lots of waste for our desire to taste! Coffee, rum-punch, smoothies, and beers: In many countries, it’s served in a ‘single use’ plastic cup. A cup is Created, packed, shipped, driven, driven, driven, then has an average lifespan of 15 minutes and is thrown ‘away.’ It doesn’t make sense, does it? 

A few facts on the current plastic cup situation

  • In Greece 1.000.000 million plastic cups are served daily just for coffee (1). Many of these have lids and straws too. Frapppeee!
  • Half a trillion disposable plastic cups are manufactured annually around the world; that’s over 70 disposable plastic cups for every person on the planet (2)
  • Only 1 in 400 cups gets recycled (3) Read Why
  • 6 billion Starbucks Disposable Plastic cups end up in landfills each year (4)
  • Cups are in the ‘big four’ most used ‘single use’ plastics. Photo: A supermarket ile in the Dominican Republic.

What can you do against the disposable plastic cup?

#PlasticFreeNomad cup action hacks

  • Stay, don’t take-away. Have your coffee or drink on the spot if they serve in glass or reusable cups. Travel slow. 
  • DIY – What does nature provide? Drink from a coconut shell, bamboo branch, or whatever other resources you find around you.
  • BYO – Bring Your Own! Sounds simple. But why do we keep forgetting? Reap a habit. Perhaps you still have a cup somewhere in a cupboard. If not, buy one when you’re in a city and there is availability. Forgot one? (Ask &) borrow one from the boat, hostel, coworking space you’re staying. Forgot that too? Keep your cup! If you’re on a festival, beach BBQ, and all there is plastic, stay with your first cup and refill for the next round of beer or rum-punch.
  • If you really feel you need a coffee, and there’s no other way then take away, at least skip the lid. And re-use the cup.
  • What about paper cups? Almost all of them still contain plastic coating! It’s not a solution. 
  • Rethink. Rechoose. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Waste is not an option anymore.

Oceanpreneurs on top of the wave

edible mugLoliware makes edible cups. A disposable cup that you can eat instead of throwing it away. Cups are made from seaweed, organic sweeteners and flavors derived from fruits and vegetables. Now they are getting into the straw business too. The edible cups are available on Amazon. [Learn more about this campaign and navigate to more #plasticFREEnomad hacks


Nomad friendly Cup & Mugs Ideas 



Hi! My name is Suzanne. I'm here to help you go on ocean adventures and make positive impact for a healthier ocean. Explore this website to learn what I do and how you can make some splashes too!

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