Biodegradable paper cups are easy to recycle and free from toxins?
Paper coffee cups have been viewed as problematic by some for the simple reason that they cannot be made from 100% paper or cardboard alone. To keep beverages warm and prevent the cup from getting soggy and mushy, a thin layer of plastic is blended with the paper. This lamination made paper cups difficult to recycle as special facilities are needed to separate the linings. Many recycling plants have also been rejecting these types of paper cups and as a result, most of them end up in landfills.
However, technological innovations have paved the way for bioplastics made from plants, trees, corn and sugar cane, which are sustainably sourced, fully compostable, and can be recycled with food waste. They can be broken back down into their component parts over time by the action of biological organisms and fully absorbed by the earth. Most bioplastics, apart from those made from potato starch, contain no allergens and are safe for atopic consumers. According to a report presented by the Michigan Biotechnology Institute and Michigan State University, the rich humic material created can additionally improve water and nutrient retention and help plants grow healthier with less need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.