Starbucks Responds to Latte Levy' with 5p Cup Charge to Cut Waste

A charge on disposable coffee cups is to be imposed in Britain to address the problem that only a tiny proportion is recycled.Starbucks will test the impact of a 5p charge in 20 to 25 London stores in a three-month trial starting next month, the first time any coffee chain has required customers to pay extra for a cup.The company announced the charge after learning that the Commons environmental audit committee would recommend today that the government introduce a minimum 25p "latte levy" on disposable cups.A report by the committee says that disposable coffee cups should be banned unless almost all are recycled by 2023.About 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups a year are used in the UK but nearly all are...

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Disposable Coffee Cups and Carrier Bags Are Just the Start When It Comes to Tackling Our Plastic Pro
Britain disposes of enough single-use plastic waste in a year to fill the Albert Hall 1,000 times, the Prime Minister said in a speech this week. It was an eye-catching statement, delivered alongside a grandiose plan that has been immediately criticised for being heavy on rhetoric but conspicuously light on everything else.Crucially, the central commitment to eradicate plastic waste was given a generous 25-year timeframe that lies well-beyond Theresa May’s political shelf-life. It also came with an enormous caveat - only “avoidable” plastic waste is covered.But what exactly does avoidable mean in this context? The plan says little on that fundamental point but according to recycling experts there are some clear examples of products that could be cut almost overnight without hurting businesses or consumers.Latte levies, carrier bag charges and plastic bottle deposit schemes are a “distraction” from much bigger issues, says Simon Mountain, director of Mid UK Recycling, which processes waste from homes across Lincolnshire as well as some London boroughs.None of the policies address the key issue that billions of items thrown into recycling bins each year simply can’t be recycled, at least not economically. Often the reason is simply that they are designed with aesthetics in mind rather than the planet.Other items that are churned out and chucked away by thehundreds of millions present much bigger problems than coffee cups for recycling plants, says Mountain. Wet wipes, sandwich boxes, drinking straws and pet food pouches are among the top offenders.Pouches used for soups, pet foodand Capri-sun use two types of plastic with a foil layer inside, making them “completely unrecyclable” unless they are entirely segregated out from other items and then put through a complex process using microwaves to cook off all of the different materials at their respective boiling temperatures. Needless to say, that’s expensive and uses up a lot of energy.While they may be convenient, pouches have replaced something altogether easier to recycle. The humble food tin andaluminium can are both easy to process. They can be picked out with magnets, melted down and reused an almost unlimited number of times.Our ever-expanding appetite for food on the go is one of the biggest sources of problematic plastic waste.We spent £8bnon ready-made sandwiches in 2017 but their containers are a particular bugbear at for recycling plants. Not only are they made from laminated card that makes separating plastic from paper extremely difficult, but they have a see-through window made from an entirely different type of plastic.“They keep banging on about a latte levy but if they are going to do that they should have a sandwich pack levy as well,”says Mountain.Sandwich packaging is another example of industry going backwards. Older containers, made entirely from clear plastic, were far simpler to reprocess, says Mountain.It’s not just in the world of food where convenience has been our downfall. Wet wipes, in all their scented, antibacterial, throwaway glory, are a “big no-no”, says Mountain.“They’re basically a woven plastic,” he says.“If you look under a microscope, they’re fibrous so they don’t break down and they maintain their moisture, but they just don’t rot. People throw them in the recycling bin thinking they’re going to be recyclable.“Well there is just no way it’s going to happen.”The 70 million plastic straws estimated to end up in landfill each year aren’t recycled for the simple reason that they are too small.“I have no interest in ever recycling straws,” says Mountain.When the contents of an average household recycling bin ends up at a processing plant, materials are separated, either by hand or with a machine that uses a near-infrared beam to size up what’s on the conveyor belt. Bigger items are much easier to pick out.The process is either labour-intensive or requires a large investment in machinery. With recycled plastic selling between £35 and £75 per tonne, picking out straws isn’t cost effective.Another convenient food item - the sauce sachet- presents a double whammy of bad news for recycling plants. Not only are they tiny, they’re also made from multiple materials: plastic outer layer with a lining made of foil or a different plastic. Cotton buds cause similar issues.Much of the problem isn’t down to the fact that individual items can’t be recycled, but that they just aren’t being sorted properly so get sent to an incinerator.Many of the estimated half a billion plant pots in circulationin the UK will end up in landfill because they’re a different kind of plastic to food packaging which makes up much of our waste, says Stephen Cameron, sales director atSWRnewstar, which provides waste management and recycling services to some of the UK's biggest businesses.So what can firms do to combat the problem?First, there needs to be a rethink on the variety of plastics we use in the UK, says Mountain. Lessdifferent types of plastics and simpler product designs would mean rapid improvements in recycling rates.A move towards biodegradable plastics made from starch polymers could also help, says Cameron. “There are a number of compostable ‘grab and go’ packaging options available on the market; including, hot drink cups, plastic salad boxes, deli pots among others,” he points out. But they are no panacea. The packaging breaks down quickly but it is still single use and the materials are not recovered.TheUK needs large-scale investment to increase the number of commercial composting sites required to process these relatively new materials. A greater number of specific collections to take waste to composting are also required because compostable plastics can ruin a whole batch of traditional plastic recycling if the two types are mixed, Mountain says.Economic incentives also need to be radically altered. Manufacturers must be encouraged to use recovered material in new products, says Richard Kirkman, chief innovation officer at Veolia UK and Ireland. When the oil price is low, “virgin” plastics are often cheaper than recycled ones.A study this week by MoneySavingExpert.com found that more than half of a sample of different vegetables taken from supermarkets were cheaper to buy wrapped in plastic than loose. In this context the Government’s proposal to encourage plastic-free aisles seems far too weak to usher in the radical change to consumer behaviour that's needed.Much higher taxes on plastic packaging, and stronger measures for hard-to-recycle items are needed, says Mountain.“Very easily, the Government could say to retailers: ‘we do not allow this material, it’s not helpful, it’s not sustainable, it’s not recyclable’ and ban it.”
Content Creation Hacks: How to Quickly Create Shareable Content
You need good content, and you need it right now. There are plenty of reasons why you might have an urgent need for content. If you're new to content marketing, and are just now creating your presence, you want to create engaging content quickly. You might have also been distracted by other, pressing business needs and simply gotten behind on creating good content. No matter what your reason is, these content creation hacks will help you go push out great content that your audience will be eager to share.Get Your Users to Create Content for YouIf you need content created quickly that will also be shared, crowdsourcing is definitely an option to consider. Crowdsourced or user generated content is exactly what it sounds like. You give your followers an incentive to share pictures, videos, stories, or advice that is relevant to your brand. That incentive can be tangible, such as access to premium content or a discount offer. It can also be something as simple as recognition.One of the most successful user generated content campaigns was Starbuck's White Cup contest. Consumers were invited to tap into their creative sides by drawing on their coffee cups, snapping a picture, and submitting the results. The prize was that the winner's cup would become the basis for a new Starbuck's cup.Of course, that might not be fast enough for you. In which case, you might consider a technique that has faster turnaround time. For example, you could come up with a daily theme and ask your followers to submit content related to that theme. For example, 'Tuesday Tips' could be a recurring theme where you share tips from your audience that are related to your products.Modernize Old ContentCreating content from scratch is great, but you're looking for faster solutions. So, why not consider rebooting your old content with some new features, or repurposing it into something new. One possibility is to text old blog posts and modernize them by turning them into infographics. How to posts can be turned into instructional videos. You can even mine your files for content that you've never made available to your followers. Check out your old PowerPoint presentations, for example, you might have something in there that could be uploaded and shared.Another option is to take old content and make it relevant for today. Maybe you posted a blog of product related tips a couple of years ago. You could do a 2.0 version with information that has been updated. If you've previously posted an interview or a news article, you could share a brief follow up. People really like, 'whatever happened to' stories. You never know what might become of content that you've decided to revitalized.Find Great Content to ShareDon't dismiss curation as a viable option when you need to get content out to your audience quickly. Yes, you will benefit the creator of that content as much as you benefit yourself, but this is a great way to bulk up thin content offerings. If you find the right content to curate, you'll get more visitors to your social media pages, and that will result in more focus on your original content as well.Knock Out a Few List Posts'Listicles' might have more than their fair share of critics, and let's be honest there are lots of lame list articles out there, but they are useful. First of all, they are hugely popular. People will read them, and they will share them. In addition to this, you can knock out a list post pretty quickly. After all, people aren't looking for loads of details when they open up a top ten list. They just want the rankings and a little bit of information.Use Tools and Resources to Create Shareable Content QuicklySometimes, the trick isn't really a trick at all. You simply have to either become better at doing something or leverage tools to help you create content more efficiently. A well selected tool can make it easier for you to produce content, proofread and edit that content, publish that content, and promote it. You can also use tools to create stunning visual content that is sure to get shared. You can also use tools to help you curate content. Here are just a few tools that can help you get your content out to your audience quickly.Pinterest - Pin interesting content quickly to share with your followers laterAllTop - Find the top trending stories, from a variety of sources, covering a wide array of topicsApester - Create interactive content that creates engagement and gives followers an incentive to shareEasel.ly - A web based tool that you can use to create the most shared type of content of all, infographicsYou have more reasons to give these tools a chance, than to look for a list of the best writing services in the first place. What else?Create a Social Media QuizWhich Disney princess are you? Do you know how to keep your computer safe from hackers? Which television mom are you? Where should you go on vacation this year? These aren't just random questions, they are topics of social media quizzes. If you spend much time on social media at all, you probably see the results of these quizzes posted by your friends and family members quite frequently.This is because interactive content is extraordinarily popular. It's also easy to create. Find the right tool, and you can create and share a social media quiz that your audience will love. Just be sure to find a balance between creating a quiz that is interesting and that highlights how you are capable of solving your audience's real world problems.ConclusionThese content creation hacks are great options if you have an urgent need to create, distribute, and promote content quickly without sacrificing quality. Before you know it, your audience will be engaged and eagerly clicking the share button.
Pink Travel Coffee Cups for Breast Cancer Awareness
Support Breast Cancer Charities with these Pink Travel Mug and Cup products Awareness is one of the most important weapons in our fight against Breast Cancer. According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) 1 of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and on average in the U.S. alone, 1 woman will die every 13 minutes. It is heartbreaking to think how many of our friends and family these figures may be affected. But not just older women will battle this disease, but teenagers, young women, women who had children in their 30's, and although still rare, even men. You can help by purchasing of any of these products from these merchants. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of these items go to the BRCF or Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Even better, you may make direct donations to either of these fine fund-raising agencies on this page. Photo Credit: Purchase of this 16 oz. HOPE Pink Ribbon Rhinestone TimeMug Travel Mug benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure-Global Headquarters and is available at eBay.com. About the Breast Cancer Research Foundation BCRF BCRF :: providing critical funding for innovative clinical and genetic research The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organization whose mission is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and genetic research at lead 16 oz Stainless Steel To-Go Mug with Leather look wrap This pink travel mug from Trudeau not only lets you spread awareness of breast cancer prevention but allows you to give indirectly to the cause. Trudeau will donate 5% of the net sale of each travel mug purchased to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. A highly rated charity, BCRF donates 85 cents of every donated dollar directly to breast cancer awareness and prevention programs. 18 oz Travel Mug with Soft Grip Handle Very handy, guaranteed-leak-proof travel mug that fits most standard car cup holders. Stainless steel inside and out, the mug features a shiny pink body with a black lid and black soft-grip handle that cleverly rotates for either right- or left-hand use. You can drink out of any side of the lid as well, which facilitates grabbing and sipping on the go. Use the mug to keep your favorite 16-ounce espresso drink hot on the drive to work or on a jaunt around the neighborhood... Click to see more. About Trudeau Corp. and their pledge to support Breast Cancer Research Foundation The Breast Cancer Research Foundation - Trudeau Corporation Trudeau Corporation continues to support the fight against breast cancer with its gadgets, hydration and thermal products.This collection of gadgets, hydration and thermal products are designed exclusively for Trudeau's product donation program. They 16 oz. Travel Tumbler keep beverages hot for up to 2 hours With the Sablier Tumbler you will be able to keep your favorite hot or cold beverage with you and keep it hot or cold. This double wall insulated tumbler will keep your hot drink hot, for up to two hours. It has a convenient (and attractive) carry and go design and will hold up to 16-ounces of your favorite beverage. Because of the tumbler's innovative design and quality build you will no longer have to worry about coffee or tea stains on your cloths, because it's leak free. It also... Click to see more. Stainless Steel To-Go Cup with Pink Flowers keeps drinks Hot or Cold Think Pink. A portion of the sales from the Trudeau Lulu BCRF Tumbler is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The 16-ounce travel tumbler has a pink, screw top lid with a flip top and a decorative pink print design on the body. Double wall insulation keeps beverages hotter or colder, longer... Click to see more. Dark Pink Stainless 16 oz. Cup with PBA-free Polypropylene interior Keep your drink warm while traveling with the Trudeau Paige Travel Mug. It has a soft grip lid for comfort and the flip top lid mechanism is easy to use - simply grab the tab of the lid and flip it open. Will not leak when closed. Double wall construction ensures that your beverages will stay hotter or colder, longer. Other features include an easy to carry, soft grip handle and a non-slip base. Made to last; made to travel - take this unbreakable stainless steel mug anywhere you go. 16-ounce capacity. Rated 2-hours, heat retention. Pink colored finish. Eco-friendly; BPA free. Five year warranty... Click to read more. Support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation by Donating here " Why should I support the Foundation? There are many good reasons to support the Foundation including the fact that more than 90% of all funds raised goes directly to breast cancer research grants and awareness programs. Browse our website and visit Responsible Giving, read about our Research Funding or visit our Pink Partners for more reasons to support our work." May I make a tax-deductible donation right now? Yes! Just follow this link and our secure server will safeguard all the information you enter, and will encrypt your file so that it cannot be read during transmission to our Donor Department. Read more on Ways to Donate About Sugan G. Komen for the Cure Susan G. Komen for the Cure Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worry The Pink Ribbon Travel Mug on eBay Giving featured on the intro of this lens - No longer available, but hoping it returns... This is for one 16 oz. travel mug. Features include: 100% dishwasher safe; sophisticated Rhinestone encircled Modern timepiece with a long lasting battery AND a Pink Ribbon background; stainless steel interior that provides insulation for Hot and Cold beverages; cup-holder friendly shape; rubber sealed lid to prevent spills; convenient easy-sip slide tab; and a non-slip, scratch resistant base. (Suggested Retail Price: $29.95) Support Susan G. Komen for the Cure by Donating here "Since 1982, Komen for the Cure has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer -,b transforming how the world talks about and treats this disease and helping to turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors. We are proud of our contribution to some real victories: * More early detection - nearly 75 percent of women over 40 years old now receive regular mammograms, the single most effective tool for detecting breast cancer early (in 1982, less than 30 percent received a clinical exam). * More hope - the five-year survival rate for breast cancer, when caught early before it spreads beyond the breast, is now 98 percent (compared to 74 percent in 1982)." Click here to read more. Other Pink Cancer Awareness Products Did you like this lens? Have you found what you are looking for? Anyone can leave a comment, so please do. Also Facebook Like, Twitter, and Google 1 . Squidoo members, please be so kind and give me a Thumbs up. Even better, give me a Thumbs up, and click to... Please sign my Pink Travel Mugs Guestbook - Anyone may leave a comment, so please do. Sage62 on October 04, 2012: Great lens - congrats on raising awareness for the cause. seashell2 on March 04, 2011: Fabulous lens... great pink products for a great cause! hayleylou lm on February 03, 2011: Nice lens. **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel :) crazycuriosity on February 03, 2011: Nice Lens! I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. Please check out my Lens' and my blog at crazycuriosity@blogspot.com. Thanks and I will keep following you, so keep writing. lisals7777 on February 03, 2011: Nicely done lens - for a good cause. tssfacts on February 03, 2011: Great job and nice selections for us to chose from. TheresaMarkham on February 02, 2011: Great job for a great cause! Jeanette from Australia on February 02, 2011: Love the one with the pink flowers :-)how many 1/3 cups make up one cup?3 holy facepalm
Call for 'latte Levy' to Cut Cup Waste Is Backed by MPs ...
Calls to make people pay more to use disposable coffee cups - a plan already being considered in Wales - have been taken up by a committee of MPs. They want UK ministers to impose a 25p "latte levy" per cup, on top of the coffee price, to fund better recycling and reprocessing systems.The UK throws away 2.5bn coffee cups each year, the committee was told.Welsh ministers are considering asking for powers to tax the cups and other plastics that are difficult to recycle.Disposable coffee cups can be tricky to recycle because most are made with a combination of paper and plastic.The report, by the Commons' Environmental Audit Committee, calls for better labelling for consumers, and for UK ministers to introduce measures to make sure all coffee cups are recycled within five years. Committee member Anna McMorrin, Labour MP for Cardiff North, said: "We all use them, but as the committee discovered hardly any are recycled and most are littered, resulting in 2.5bn a year being thrown away."That's enough to circle the planet five and a half times."Ms McMorrin said the Welsh Government had "led the way in the UK" by introducing a charge for carrier bags and "we've seen single-use carrier bag usage drop by 71%"."That's why the committee believes that introducing a 25p charge on disposable coffee cups could have the same impact on consumer behaviour, and encourage people to carry their own reusable coffee cup."She added: "With the coffee shop market expanding rapidly, and more coffee cups being produced, we now have the opportunity to kick start a revolution in recycling. "We need coffee cup producers, distributors and governments to take urgent action to rectify this - and if they can't achieve this by 2023, then they should be banned."But Mike Turner, of the Paper Cup Alliance, said they were the most sustainable and safe solution for drinks on-the-go. "The paper cups we manufacture in the UK are sustainably sourced, responsibly produced, recyclable and, through a number of facilities, are being recycled. We are committed to increasing recycling rates," he said."Taxing the morning coffee run will not address the issue of litter, but it will hurt consumers and impact already struggling high streets."Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has said he will take proposals to UK ministers, based on one of four possible options for a new Welsh tax, later this year.The three alternatives to a disposable plastic tax are a tax on vacant land, one to fund social care and a tourism tax.The proposals would require approval from assembly members, the UK government and Parliament before they could be implemented.Plaid Cymru climate change spokesman Simon Thomas said: "I'm confident the best option is to have a polluter pays principle when it comes to taxation and introduce a plastic levy. This could easily include coffee cups."
Hobart Airport One of Six Airports in Australia to Receive Level 2 Carbon Accreditation
To mark Earth Day on Monday, Hobart Airport has announced it has received Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation.Hobart Airport is one of six airports in Australia with a Level 2 accreditation from the global program that encourages and rewards airports for neutralising their carbon footprint.Environment Manager Kirsten Leggett said she was thrilled to see their environment work recognised on a global scale."It is a real testament to our entire organisation and the commitment or our team towards becoming a more environmentally sustainable airport," Ms Leggett said."With our Carbon Management Plan now in place to guide and measure our future environmental efforts, we hope to keep up this momentum."We have our sights on achieving a Level 3 Accreditation in the coming years." Hobart Airport was awarded Level 1 Mapping Accreditation in 2017, and were upgraded to Level 2 following a reduction in energy and water use, fuel consumption and waste generation.The airport has recently introduced a three-stream waste management in the terminal, segregating recycling, organics and general waste and was the first airport in Australia to introduce a low-power High Intensity Approach and taxiway system, using Light-Emitting Diode lighting in the runway extension project.Ms Leggett said the airport has already observed outstanding rates of success in segregating waste generated within the terminal and diverting waste from landfill."We have also been working with our food and beverage tenants to introduce compostable packaging and coffee cups at all outlets, which is now disposed of as organic waste," Ms Leggett said."Moving forward, we plan to implement more sustainable practices including arrangements to phase out plastic straws." The airport will release its Annual Environmental Report summary by the end of the year.
Are Takeaway Coffee Cups Recyclable?
A study from the University of Victoria in Canada created a 'break-even' matrix for the energy inputs in production of disposable paper cups compared with reusable plastic, glass and ceramic cups. It found that you would need to use a glass reusable cup 15 times before it becomes equally energy efficient to a paper cup.Do I bake my cupcakes with the paper cups in the tins??No, you can use the paper cups or you can use foil cups. They do not burn. I've used them beforeHow can I get the buyers for paper cups in India?Probably use the strongest mode of communication. THE GREAT INTERNETCan I Bake Cupcakes Without Paper Cups?if you need them to remain fresh till your party, youre better off buying those paper wrappers. In a pinch, you can spray the muffin tins with spray oil and bake them but you run the risk of some of the cupcakes breaking when you remove them from the pan.Cupcakes recipe without Paper Cups?just use shortening on your muffin panIs it considered impolite to bring nothing but a bottle of soda and paper cups to a potluck, and still help yourself to full plates of what others have cooked or paid more money for?A pot luck is just that, a plate of food, but if you are going to bring drinks, it should be more than just one bottleDoes using paper cups and bags in fastfood really help?well u r reuseing ritean you just only use paper cups for cupcakes instead of using the pan itself?there is a good chance that if you do not have a 9 x 13 pan with 2 inch high sides to place all the cupcake papers together tightly in, then the batter will push the papers out and they will make a mess. Put the papers tightly together in the pan and then put the batter in them, good luck. Icing: 1/2 cup softened butter, 8 oz of softened brick cream cheese, 5 cups of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix all together with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer on low.How do you know what paper cups to recycle?there made of paper? idkkWhen baking cupcakes, how much batter do you put in the paper cups?fill the cup a third of the way updo coffee spots(starbucks,etc.)allow ppl to bring mugs so that we can save paper cups?Yup, they sure do. Most coffee shops actually encourage it. They will probably charge you for the size that most closely matches your mug. And for shopping, the most earth-friendly way is the canvas tote. Before I had totes, I would bring my own plastic and paper shopping bags from previous trips and just reuse them until they were too worn out. We shop at a grocery store where you do your own bagging, so the concept was not too ridiculous.is there any hydrophobic material to be used on paper cups? [closed]The paper cups I have seen already have wax on the inside to prevent water from soaking the paperdo you need to put paper cups in a muffin tray when you want to bake cupcakes?No, you are never required to use the little baking cups, but make sure your muffin tin is well greased inside the cups or you may have quite a bit of trouble extracting your cupcakesCan paper plates, paper towels, paper cups, and plastic silverwear be recycled? I usually throw this away.?As long as it's clean/dry all of the above is re-recyclablewhat experiment can i do with 2 paper cups?Two cups, a length of string; and you got a telephone. Two cups balanced on the end of a popcycle stick, can be a measuring scale, or on a pencil point act like a wind rotor.why cant paper cups and plates b recycled?they can be unless they have food that cant be gotten off. Who told you this?Where can you buy SHALLOW plastic or paper cups to make jello shots with?i am not sure, but try a party store or a drugstore
War on Christmas 2017: Fox News Asks If Starbucks Holiday Cups Are Pushing a "gay Agenda"
We're just settling into that dark blanket of panicked consumerism and repeat listenings of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" that is the holiday season. Proof positive of this is that familiar outlets have begunwonder aloud, again, if Starbucks is trying to destroy centuries of Christianity via insufficientlyfestive holiday cups - this time, in connection witha perceived effort to push the dreaded "gay agenda."You'll perhaps recall past instances of Starbucks attempting to undermine a two millennia-oldreligionfollowed by 2.2 billion people, once through paper coffee cups that used only green, abstract designs, oronce through cups that were simply all red. As The New York Times notes,a currentstandard bearer for the faith, President Donald J. Trump, assailed thesemi-progressivecorporationduring a campaign stop after its all-red cup came out in 2015 (this is your reminder that the 2016 campaign lasted two years)."I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower," said the then-candidate about the existential threat the coffeemaker presented for believers everywhere. "Maybe we should boycott Starbucks I don't know. Seriously, I don't care. That's the end of that lease, but who cares" He added, "If I become president, we're all going to be saying 'Merry Christmas' again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you."This year's three cups, far from being a simple sheath of holiday color, feature a busy illustrationin which two arms hold hands. It is not clear what genders the bodies attached these hands are supposed to be or what sort of combination thereof they comprise. As a spokesperson for Starbucks told the Times, "This year's hand-drawn cup features scenes of celebrating with loved ones - whoever they may be." The spokesperson added, "We intentionally designed the cup so our customers can interpret it in their own way, adding their own color and illustrations."And interpret they did.As the Times notes,some on the LGBT-advocacy sideperceive it as two men, two women or one or two trans individuals holding hands, which reaffirms Starbucks' efforts here.Naturally, some on the LGBT side are taking it a step further, claiming that their personal interpretation of the genderless appendages is necessarily the only one. As well, some are seeing a lesbian couple in an illustration of two women talking, featured in the announcement video for the new cup (cups have announcement videos these days).It is, of course, wonderful and important that people who are oftenunderrepresented in societycan see themselves in something as mundane (yet ubiquitous) as a paper coffee cup. Yet,sayingthese aredefinitively lesbian, gay or trans images is beside the point. They areopen ones that anyone can project themselves into. Here, all narratives gain equal standing. That Starbucks was able to create suchan open-ended designis a feat and a boon in and of itself.But because it's essentially its job,Fox Newswaded into this non-story in the ongoing Culture Wars. Pairing aBuzzfeed article that notedthat the image was not explicitly heterosexual, not explicitly cisgendered, with a couple of tweets, Fox News'website sold the whole mess as a report ona supposedly massive backlash against thecoffee purveyorfor trying tomake baby Jesus gay.Now, Fox News itself doesn't go very far into actually proving that there is a right-wing avalanche of criticism here. It offers a couple of tweets and not much else. As far as Salon can tell, there's notreally more out there in the way of red-state rage. Matter of fact, look into the comments on that same Fox News post and you'll see that many of the site's readers see the whole matter as a massive serving of nothingburger, be they there to support or slam the right-wing outlet.That Fox News tried so very hard to make this into a thing, however, says quite a lot about where it is and how desperately it misses its foremost fighter in the War on Christmas, Bill O'Reilly. He totally would have made something wonderful of this.Not that it matters, anyway: Everyone, even the hard right, knows coffee cups can't turn you gay. Soy, however . . .
10 Best Reusable Coffee Cups
"Single-use" was Collins Dictionary's word of the year for 2018 - and for good reason. It seems we're finally waking up to the impact that single-use plastic is having on the planet, with documentaries such as David Attenborough's Blue Planet II serving as a rallying cry for us to clean up our act.Takeaway coffee cups form a significant part of the problem. While you may assume that they're recyclable, most single-use coffee cups contain a thin plastic lining.In fact, according to Paul Morozzo, a political campaigner for Greenpeace, the UK throws away 2.5 billion coffee cups each year and less than 1 per cent of these are recycled.He says: "Switching to a reusable coffee cup is a great way to cut your plastic footprint, and lots of businesses now offer discounts to customers who do this - so it's win-win." To help you on your way, we've tried out a wide range of reusable coffee cups and chosen the best on the market.We tested each product on the go over several days, assessing leakproofness, portability, the materials used and whether it kept our coffee hotter for longer.Our final pick ranges from sturdy flask-like models to those designed to look and function like your traditional takeaway cup.Here's our top 10:You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formd from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.The rCup is pretty unique. It's the brainchild of pioneering eco product-design company ashortwalk and environmental consultancy Nextex, and its outer, thermal layer is made entirely from used coffee cups. The companies have developed a hardy resin they call NextCupCycle, which is born from both the plastic and the thick paper of throwaway cups.The final result is the rCup: a sleek, reusable cup with a push-close seal and capacity for 360° drinking. It's also purported to be 100 per cent leak proof, a claim we found to be true regardless of any amount of jiggling in transit. Our coffee was warm enough to drink an hour after pouring too.The rCup is dishwasher safe, 100 per cent recyclable and free of BPA (that's bisphenol A, an industrial chemical that's often used in plastics and that can potentially release harmful toxins). The brand will also replace worn or damaged seals for free.Choose between a 227ml or 340ml cup with a teal, mustard or pink lid, and a black or cream body. All round, it's a reliable option with impressive eco credentials.Buy now Straightforward but effortlessly chic, Frank Green's offering sits somewhere between a small flask and a more traditional cup.While there's now a stainless-steel option available, the Aussie brand's original cup is made from a recyclable co-polymer, that's free of both BPA and BPS (another potentially harmful chemical) and is comfortingly robust. We found the push button on top to be a little stiff, but that's a small compromise given the cup kept our coffee hot for more than five hours. There were no leaks either, even when it was laid sideways at the bottom of a backpack - just remember to screw the lid on tight and make sure the drinking hole is clicked closed.If you're a design fiend, you'll love the fact that your cup is customisable. Decide between a 230ml or 340ml product and combine colours such as nude rose and harbour mist grey for an up-to-date look. This one's ideal for eco warriors with a keen sense of style.Buy now Hydro Flask is on a self-professed mission to "save the world from the lukewarm". They promise to keep your coffee piping hot and your cool beverages ice-cold for up to 6 hours and 24 hours respectively. Indeed, we found our coffee was warm enough to drink come 3pm, even though we made it just before 9am. Despite its hot contents, the flask's body remained cool to the touch.Hydro Flask's secret is the use of pro-grade stainless steel and a double-wall vacuum design that maintains the temperature of your drink. The lid (dubbed the Hydro flip lid) has a mechanism that can be easily clicked open and shut with one hand, and we found it didn't spill a drop when on the go.Design-wise, it's smart and fuss free. There's a rainbow of 11 colours available, from Lemon yellow to Pacific blue, and you can opt for a size of 354ml, 473ml or 592ml (roughly corresponding to small, medium and large in an average coffee shop). It's also BPA free and not too heavy considering its robustness. A dependable option whatever your lifestyle.Buy now A concept from cookware giant Tefal, this smart travel mug scores highly for its ability to lock in heat. Our coffee was still warm some six hours after we filled it up (Tefal promises four) and our cold drink remained chilly all day too. It's the mixture of stainless steel and soft BPA-free silicone that keeps your brew toasty.You open and close the cup by a simple button on the top, which allows for 360° drinking. Given its sturdiness, the cup is little heavier than some other products tested, but still light enough to carry around without too much fuss. It delivered on its claim to be "100 per cent leak-proof" too.Coming in plain black, blue or red, it's not quite as easy on the eye as some of the other products tested - but what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for with sheer quality. This is a practical, no-frills option from a trusted brand.Buy now While every product on this list has green credentials, Ecoffee's cup goes the extra mile. It's made from the fibre of "naturally organic" bamboo which, according to the brand, is the "world's fastest-growing, most sustainable crop". It's free of BPA and phthalates (another kind of chemical) and is completely biodegradable.Though not as leakproof as some other models, the lid is secure, modelled on a traditional takeaway cup, and its soft material makes it comfortable to drink from. Our coffee had cooled within the hour, but the product's light weight and grippable heat sleeve means it's ideal to carry in one hand and drink from on the go.It gets points for style too. You could go for a bold block colour, from eye-popping orange "Mrs Mills" to bright turquoise "Inca", or patterns range from florals to polka dots. Our favourite design is 'Like, totally!' (pictured) with its geometric flowers and rosy pink lid and heat sleeve. Ecoffee Cups are available in 250ml, 340ml, 400ml and 475ml.Buy now As the name suggests, the KeepCup brew range was created with coffee drinkers in mind. It's made from durable, tempered soda-lime glass and its leak-proof design means you can pop it in your bag while travelling (we're pleased to report no spillages).The lid has a nifty "twist and click" plug: a moveable part turns to reveal a small drinking hole, and it can be slipped back into position and snapped shut when you're on the move. Our coffee stayed warm enough to drink for about an hour.The silicone heat sleeve is fixed well, and fully protects your hands from the glass, which can become pretty hot when your coffee is just brewed. The sleeve is also BPA and BPS free.KeepCup has a huge range of products, and you can design your own bespoke cup by mixing and matching the colour of the lid, plug and sleeve. Size options are 227ml or 340ml. A good-value pick.Buy now According to its makers, this simple, stylish cup was designed for "optimistic drinkers and half-full thinkers". It's crafted from thick hand-blown glass, meaning it's hardwearing and also 100 per cent chemical free, so it won't impair the taste of your brew. Sol cups are also microwave and dishwasher safe.A word of warning: the glass becomes extremely hot when your coffee is first poured, but a silicone sleeve keeps your hands protected and adds a pop of colour too. The matching lid snaps on firmly, but is not leak-proof. If you want to slip your cup in your bag, though, you can buy a little waterproof pouch for it - the pouch's silicone interior is waterproof, protecting your things from any remaining dregs of coffee.Pickbetween a 236ml, 354ml or 473 ml cup and 13 tasteful colour options. The attractive box it arrives in means this one makes a lovely gift too.Buy now FOSH, an acronym that stands for "for our sea's health", is dedicated to mitigating the harmful impact single-use plastic has on our oceans. Their stainless-steel coffee cup uses vacuum technology to keep your drinks at their desired temperature, and we found our steaming coffee was still hot enough to drink four hours later.The lid snaps on and off and you drink from a small opening, much like a traditional takeaway cup. Sadly, given this opening, the design isn't leak proof, so it's not one to toss in your backpack. But the 454ml product is perfect for carrying on short journeys, or for sitting upright on your desk after your morning-coffee dash.FOSH's BPA-free coffee cups have style as well as substance too. Creative designs range from a marble effect to a striking graffiti print, while a durable powder coating means they'll stay in tip-top condition. A thoroughly worthwhile investment.Buy now EKOBO has many eco-friendly products in its portfolio, and the brand's reusable coffee cup stands up to the market leaders. It's not spill-proof, and it doesn't keep your coffee hot for much longer than a takeaway cup would, but it deserves recognition for its eco-friendly materials and its elegant design.The cup itself is made from natural bamboo fibre, while the neat silicone top is BPA and phthalate free. The lid can also double up as a coaster once you're settled at your final destination. Its material also means it's tough and the cup's outside is not too hot to touch, even when it's filled with just-brewed coffee. You can pop it in the dishwasher, but keep it out of the microwave.The minimalist designs come in four solid colours: orange-red, yellow, black and off-white, the bamboo's natural colour. If you fancy, pair your new cup with EKOBO's Bento lunch box, which is also made from bamboo fibre.Buy now The aptly named Pokito cup is a winner if you're short on space since it collapses right down to a third of its fully extended size. Depending on your coffee order you can pop your cup up into a range of volumes: 230ml, intended for an espresso, 475ml or the full-size 350ml.The built-in insulation kept our coffee warm for just over an hour, and the spill-proof lid twists on firmly. The slightly fanned base means the cup is near impossible to tip over, and it's extra light too.Both the cup's soft, adjustable body and its harder base, heat sleeve and lid are made from recyclable materials that are BPA free and also dishwasher safe. This is the ultimate in convenience and sustainability.Buy now If you're after a design that replicates the look and feel of your regular takeaway coffee cup - but without the harmful impact on the environment - ashortwalk's rCup delivers. It's also light, leakproof, and we love that it's made from otherwise non-recyclable single-use coffee cups. If you need something that will keep your coffee hot for hours, plump for either the Hydro Flask coffee or the Frank Green original reusable cup IndyBestproduct reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
Ottawa Gives Plastics Giant $35m Grant Despite Commitment to Reduce Use of Single-use Plastics
OTTAWA-The Liberal government gave $35 million to a chemical company that makes plastic resins just one day before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to use Canada's G7 presidency to get other nations to commit to reducing or phasing out single-use plastics.The grant to Nova Chemicals was announced in late January as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund, a $1.26-billion, five-year business growth measure that was unveiled in last year's federal budget.The investment is meant to encourage research and development and "secure a long-term commitment to the company's Joffre, Alta., research and development centre," said Karl Sasseville, a spokesperson for Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains."More specifically, Nova Chemicals is using innovative technologies to produce cleaner resources and less undesirable byproducts stemming from production," Sasseville wrote in an email."This could mean making products like plastic food packaging stronger and more easily recyclable. This innovation could also be used in products and applications such as small appliances, automobiles, solvents and food and cosmetic additives." According to a Jan. 23 news release from the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, the money is also going towards Nova Chemicals' $2.2-billion expansion plan in Sarnia, Ont., including a new polyethylene facility and expansion of an existing ethylene facility.Ethylene is one of the main substances in polyethylene; the expanded plant will allow Nova Chemicals to produce 431,000 additional tonnes of polyethylene a year.Nova Chemicals did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.Polyethylene is the world's most common plastic material. It is largely used to make plastic bags, food wrap and containers such as water and soda bottles, as well as plastic pails, pipes and bins.An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic garbage ends up in the world's oceans each year, with single-use plastic food containers among the biggest culprits.A day after the grant was made public, Trudeau hosted a roundtable at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the heads of multinationals and several international environment activists and academics.There, he promised Canada would use its year as president of the G7 nations to get the world to address the issue of plastic pollution in the oceans."The other big issue we would very much like to highlight and get the global community to show more leadership on is oceans protection, particularly around plastics and pollution," Trudeau said at the start of that meeting.Later that same day, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Canada was looking at getting the other members of the G7 to sign a plastics pledge to commit to reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.Plastic is often found in the stomachs of marine life; turtles and fish can mistake it for food. McKenna has tweeted repeatedly about the issue in recent days, linking to a Jan. 26 article about the impact of plastic garbage on ocean reefs.Just last week, she responded to a discussion about plastic-lined coffee cups by saying, "Eliminating single use plastics is critical!" Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist for Greenpeace Canada, said it's hard to believe Canada's commitment to reducing ocean plastics when it's providing multimillion-dollar grants to the companies that make them."So limiting single-use plastics gets tweets and producing more of them gets $35 million," said Stewart. "We really should be trying to ban the use of disposable plastics and find better alternatives." Greenpeace has a number of campaigns to convince people to reduce or eliminate their use of single-use plastics such as polypropylene drinking straws and disposable water bottles.Britain's royal family gave the idea a boost this week when Buckingham Palace announced a ban on plastic straws, bottles and non-biodegradable containers at all royal estates, including public cafes at royal residences and staff dining rooms."You know you're getting somewhere when the Queen is on side," said Stewart.Canada has no current plans for a ban or limits on the use of plastic in federal government buildings or official residences, said a spokesperson for Treasury Board President Scott Brison, who oversees a government strategy to focus on recycling and composting.
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