Are Biodegradable Cups Really Biodegradable? 


Biodegradable materials are becoming increasingly popular these days as communities promote ideas of eco-friendliness and sustainability. It is easy to lose track of things at the speed of modern technology. We see the term “biodegradable” getting tossed around quite a fair bit in the descriptions of green products.

Are products biodegradable because companies proclaim so? Perhaps it’s because they’re marked with green labels? We certainly hope not! We turn to the world of biodegradable cups for a clearer answer.

Biodegradable Cups - The Perfect Environmental Solution?

Let’s begin by unpacking the concept of biodegradability. On a scientific level, biodegradable materials are broken down through the enzymes of microorganisms. 

Second Image However, the process isn’t always as straightforward. In fact, to biodegrade a product, you’ll need the help of  an industrial-level controlled environment. Many biodegradable items will fail to compost properly if they’re not given enough air, light or the suitable type and quantity of microorganisms. (A backyard compost heap will not suffice.)  

Consumer behavior also plays a major role. Let’s say a hundred tourists were to collectively dump their biodegradable cups into the sea, pollution will remain as pollution. Biodegradable litter is harmful to the environment when passed through the wrong channels. 

A Closer Look at Biodegradable Products

Polyactic Acid (PLA) cups are a popular biodegradable choice. These cups are made from corn-based sources, and are sometimes referred to as bioplastics (renewable biomass). PLA cups are indistinguishable from ordinary plastic cups aside from a green stripe pattern.

As we’ve alluded, biodegrading processes require specific steps and technologies. Businesses offering biodegradable cups (or any other product) will first arrange for a delivery of the biodegradable cups to compost companies.

The compost companies use specialized microbes and large-scale composters (functioning at extremely high temperatures) to reduce the biodegradable cups into its compost-worthy bits.  A lot of work and energy is spent in processing a single batch of biodegradable cups. 

And it may all be in vain.

The resulting sticky compost is often of poor quality and aren’t as nutritious for plants as compared to purely organic alternatives (like those derived from fruit waste). 

And what happens to biodegradable cups that are discarded like trash? Well, they clog up landfills or sit at the bottom of the ocean just like regular trash. 

Biodegradable cups are contaminants just like regular trash if they’re not put through specific processes from start to finish.

This is a fact backed by leaders in the manufacturing field.  

Brian O’Sullivan, founder & CEO of the Irish global packaging solutions company, Zeus, is just one of many who have spoken out. O’Sullivan warned, “recyclable and compostable options are only truly beneficial if they end up, and are processed in the correct waste facility.”

Thankfully, communities are starting to refuse things they don’t need. Factories are less likely to manufacture wasteful material if consumers are refusing them. The motion has become a global initiative. Countries such as New Zealand and Tanzania have banned single-use plastic bags while some states in the USA have imposed plastic restrictions.  

The Verdict

Biodegradable containers such as PLA cups can be eco-friendly and more sustainable compared to single-use plastic, but they require specialized and often inaccessible treatment. 

So, what’s a more sustainable solution?

Enter reusables.

Designed to last a lifetime and help eliminate the billions of single-use items that are tossed daily.

Reusable Tumblers: Your Sustainable Drinking Buddy

Second Image Whether you’re savoring aromatic cappuccino or chugging chilled beer, you’ll need trusty drinking vessels for your beverages. Why not go with a sustainable tumbler?

A well-insulated tumbler retains the heat of your drinks regardless of the frosty weather outside. They’re also there to keep your iced beverages cool during the stifling summer.  

The tumbler is the perfect accompaniment for cafe visits, picnics, workplace lunches, practically anywhere you’re grabbing a drink from. Once you’ve tried a tumbler, you’re never returning to single-use plastics, 

Pirani Life features reusable tumblers enhanced with some pretty neat add-ons:

Vacuum-insulated : Keep your drinks cold for up to 12 hours or retain heat for up to 6 hours through our effective double-walled vacuum technology, as seen in high-end brands such as YETI and Hydro Flask. 

Sweat-proof : Our tumblers feature internal copper coating that improves insulation while avoiding unsightly condensation stains.  The extra layer provides insulation 10-15% longer than standard tumbler models. 

Ergonomic Design : It is the first reusable cup with rolled lip feature for smooth and uninterrupted drinking, especially while you’re on the move. Each Pirani Party Tumbler is made with standard pour measurements and a secure lid for fuss-free use.

High Durability : Its quality stainless steel design and powder coating makes the Pirani tumbler one of the most durable drink vessels in the market.

Easy Storage : Each tumbler is stackable. Store a set for the entire family, while occupying less space in your kitchen or traveling portmanteau.

BPA & phthalate free : The tumblers are extremely safe. Every Pirani Life product is non-toxic are free of commercial plastic additives.

At Pirani Life, we #PartySustainably. We’re constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to reduce waste while guiding others through sustainable practices.

Whether you’re searching for insulated drinking cups, wedding gifts or simply looking to live more sustainable lifestyles, Pirani Life welcomes you to the party!

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