Compostable coffee lids to reduce plastic waste and pollution of our planet.
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The problem we want to solve is the plastic pollution of non-decomposable coffee lids that companies such as Tim Horton's, Starbucks, McDonalds and other fast food chains use for their coffee cups.
The first step we urge companies to take is to further develop ways to encourage customers to bring their own re-usable coffee cups or mugs also known as "Lug-A-Mug"! The employees should always be asking if the customer has brought their own cup, mug or Lug-A-Mug. This very simple step can make a huge impact on the amount of plastic coffee cup waste we have on our planet because it completely eliminates the use of non re-usable coffee cups.
According to CNN even the paper cup itself takes around 20 years to decompose. This is an issue because people throw their coffee cups on the ground, along roads, highways, parks, rivers, lakes and anywhere people go. The paper cups eventually decompose if made with paper and wax lining but the lids do not decompose so they stay for generations.
The production and usage of non-decomposable coffee cups and lids contribute greatly to the pollution of our villages, towns, cities, lands, rivers, lakes and oceans. This pollution on our land is littering our wildlife habitats and in our rivers, lakes and oceans it is causing contamination and killing off our aquatic life.
According to CBC, "In 2010 Canadians used and estimated 1.5 billion disposable coffee cups, equivalent to more than half a million trees." Think about the millions of kilograms of plastic lid waste that creates as well! Coffee/tea cup waste does not even touch on all the other plastic waste created through Take-Out food and beverages such as straws, plastic cold drink cups and lids, plastic food packaging (possibly another petition topic to reduce world plastic waste).
CBC also says that when coffee cups are thrown in with the recycling, they compromise the integrity of the system.
"They can't separate the plastic and paper in a typical paper recycling facility" Alfred said. "So it just causes contamination of the recycling stream, and it causes lower-quality paper if it does get recycled."
Some lids with the appropriate recycle symbol can be placed in the blue bin and the cups in the compost provided people take the time to sort-it-out and check to see if their municipality can recycle that type of plastic. The problem is that it is not always clear which plastics can be recycled and people don't always sort the cups and lids often just toss them on roads sides, rivers, lakes, parks, land and anywhere they go. Students at our school participate in "Cleaning the Capital" every year and we are always picking up fast food waste including Tim Horton's cups and lids in our local roadsides, local parks and the Canadian Great Trail near our school.
Also according to the Waste Explorer of the City Of Ottawa, soft black plastic - used by certain coffee chains - even though it has a recycle symbol of #6 has to be thrown in the garbage. Check with your municipality to see if you can recycle soft black/brown plastic with the recycle symbol of #6! All the more reason why the lids should be compostable as we can't always put them in our blue bin and many people tend to toss them out wherever they are.
Overall coffee lids should be made out of corn based products or any other decomposable materials other than plastics. This way any lids left in the environment will eventually decompose unlike the plastic lids.
Once again we urge the companies to more heavily promote Lug-A-Mug and for YOU the coffee and tea lovers to bring in re-usable coffee mugs/cups to coffee shops and fast food chains to greatly reduce the amount of pollution we are creating on our planet Earth from single use coffee cups/lids.
Please sign and share our petition. McDonald's, Starbuck's, Tim Horton's and other food chains and servers of fast foods please take responsible action to eliminate plastic waste for the future of our planet.
Owen Ngo, Hayden Fitzgerald, Darren Frederick.
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