Although paper cups are more eco-friendly than plastic cups, there are aspects of paper cups worth considering, such as the wax treatment on the inside of the cup to keep the paper from getting soggy when holding drinks. In general, this specific brand of paper cups is better than other paper cups because of the wax coating. With the wax coating, the cup is safer to use than plastic or poly-ethylene coated paper cups. These cups are actually bio-degradable. However, in the long run, the production process utilizes a large amount of energy and fuel from producing the cups to transporting raw materials. Also, these cups’ main purpose is for cold drinks. The wax could potentially melt if it were used to hold hot beverages. In the long run, the production of paper cups is also not sustainable. It might be important to consider to resort to using reusable cups at your next party.
These paper cups are coated with wax on the inside for the purpose of keeping drinks cold and rigidity so the paper does not become wet right away. Compared to plastic, wax is actually compostable. However, wax coats are less popular than plastic coats. Most paper cups are neither recyclable nor biodegradable because they are lined with plastic. These cups are “made with at least 70% renewable sources.” Wax also poses no health problems as opposed to plastic. However, the wax can melt with hot beverages.
Paper cups are made from wood chips that are mashed into bleached wood pulp to create paper. Making paper involves the chemicals: chlorine, sodium hydroxide, bleach, sulfuric acid, sulfur, and limestone. These chemicals are not recyclable. Aside from this, a large amount of diesel is used during paper production. For example, diesel is the fuel that machines run on to cut down trees and turn the bark into wood chips. Carbon emissions are also produced during transportation of trees to manufacturing plants that debark the trees. After, they are sent to another facility to be turned into wood chips, which adds to the carbon emissions. To turn raw materials into a single paper cup uses approximately 10,000 kg of steam 1000kWh of electricity.
SOLO, the company that makes these paper cups, is the same company that makes the iconic red SOLO cups. Those cups are not sustainable because they are neither recyclable nor biodegradable. SOLO cup company was founded by Leo Hulseman, initially making paper cone cups. In 2004, SOLO acquired the Sweetheart brand and the Jazz design. SOLO is not very transparent with their production process for any of their items. Separate research is needed for raw materials that are included in their production.