Plastic Pollution Is the Ultimate Party Foul: Why Reusing and Recycling Plastic Is Paramount
Red plastic cups are synonymous with parties, so much so that whole songs have been written in commemoration of their greatness (looking at you, Toby Keith). However, out of the 500 billion plastic cups produced every year, only around 1% are recycled. That’s not what we in the biz call a "party foul." With plastic use growing steadily, it has never been more important to begin recycling, especially after a party where boat-loads of iconic red party cups were used.
When thrown away and not recycled, plastic can take centuries to break down and in the meantime, they clog landfills, waste-processing facilities, and even our oceans. While ultimately, if you use a lot of disposable cups, you should consider investing in reusable party cups, for those that aren’t reusable, here is why you should consider recycling.
It Saves Landfill Space
Recycling plastic cups helps to keep them out of the already overfilled landfills. One ton of recycled plastic a year helps to save 7.4 cubic yards of space, which can be significant considering the U.S. produces 35.4 million tons of plastic every year. In addition to helping reduce the strain on landfills, recycling can also help prevent the plastic cups from making their way directly into the environment. Here they can break into tiny pieces and pollute both the soil and the water. Pollution like this is what helped create the great garbage patches in the ocean, and it’s estimated that there are between 15 and 51 trillion pieces of microplastic in the oceans today. When combined, this plastic is estimated to equal between 93,000 and 236,000 metric tons. Those numbers alone should be concerning enough to make you think twice about tossing out your next red plastic cup and get you thinking about investing in reusable party cups instead.
It Conserves Energy and Natural Resources
In addition to helping keep plastics out of the landfills and the environment, recycling can also help conserve energy and natural resources. By recycling, you can help reduce the number of resources and energy needed to create a whole new product. For instance, a study conducted in 2009 by researchers from the Pacific Institute of California found that a single plastic water bottle requires nearly 2,000 times more energy to produce than a refillable bottle filled with tap water. Reusable party cups operate in a similar fashion and they can help you reduce your impact on the creation of new plastic cups. Additionally, by using reusable party cups, you can benefit by never having to worry about buying new cups constantly. This can save you money while also giving you a reason to feel better about every get together you throw. Custom cups can also be ordered if you want to have a special set on hand!
It’s Easier Than Ever
Currently more than 80% of Americans have access to a plastics recycling program, and many have it included in their weekly garbage pickup. Some disposal services even list everything you can recycle with handy guides. Some local grocery stores may also have a drop off service where you can easily drop off your recyclables when needed.
While red plastic cups may be synonymous with having a good time, the impact that not recycling can have will eventually result in a not so good time for our environment. To help reduce your impact, consider recycling the disposable cups you use and investing in reusable party cups to further decrease the plastic that makes its way into the environment and landfills. While it may seem like a small step, it can go a long way towards making the planet a greener place to live. Keep the party going for years to come with reusable party cups!