Why did eco-friendly cups become too popular?
Biodegradable cups or eco friendly cups are something that one can see almost everywhere. These cups are found in coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, cafes, food outlets, public institutions, and many more. But why are these cups in such a demand?
The reason behind this is very simple, these cups are made of a biodegradable material. This means that even if these cups are being disposed of in garbage disposals, they will eventually breakdown and mix with the earth. Governments from most countries have put these eco friendly cups in an application at large scale, and reports say that these cups have prevented pollution to a certain extent.
Why do eco-friendly cups do not work as expected?
This is a very common question amongst most people, even though the cups are being made of biodegradable material, it can be seen that the cups do not degrade and remain stagnant for long periods. There is a very reasonable explanation to this, most eco friendly cups are made out of PLA or polylactic acid plastic. Polylactic Acid is a type of polymer that is made from a high concentration of polylactic acid molecules.
For these polylactic acid molecules to biodegrade, the molecules must be broken up by a process known as hydrolyzing which involves the use of water to break these molecules. For this breakdown process to occur naturally, heat and moisture are required in adequate quantity. But when these eco friendly cups are being thrown either into the trash or the land-fill, these cups do not get the heat and moisture that they require to ger hydrolyzed and thus the breakdown process never initiates and the cups remain stagnant for decades and centuries polluting the environment the same as before.
How should eco-friendly cups make to be more effective in their application?
Technologies are developing all across the world and so did the material used in the making of biodegradable cups. Most of these cups, though made of paper or styrofoam have a waterproof lining to prevent liquid leakages from the cups. These waterproof linings are either made up of petroleum ormaterials such as corn, sugarcane, or potato, which are considered to be renewable. Moreover, some resources suggest that eco friendly cups are being made of easily degradable bioplastic.
Another solution to the cups’ ineffectiveness is the lack of proper composting facilities. Unless and until better technologies are developed for the utilization of the cups’ biodegradable material toward composting, these cups will continue to stagnate the environment, either in landfills or other disposed of places. The composting technologies should be able to break down the materials efficiently and then put in use for the fortification of soil.