5 Ways To Repurpose Your Used Paper Cups
How often do you find yourself grabbing a quick coffee to go for your morning commute, or even whilst out shopping as a treat? After you have consumed your beverage though, what do you do with the cup?
In the UK we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day and less than 1% of coffee cups are recycled due to lack of knowledge and convenience. This means over 100 billion single-use cups go to landfill every year.
In a recent study conducted by YouGov, it was found that 52% of consumers dispose of their cups whilst at work or on the go, and 88% of people would use a purpose-built cup recycling bin if one was made readily available to them.
Many people believe that takeaway cups cannot be recycled, or if they can’t see a recycling bin in their immediate vicinity they settle for a normal waste bin. The myths around what can and can’t be recycled causes confusion amongst many, but contrary to popular belief your coffee cups can be recycled. Disposable paper cups need to be collected in specific designated coffee cup recycling bins which can usually be found in and around coffee shops.
Instead of just popping your used cup in the nearest recycling bin, we have come up with a few ideas which will not only cut down on waste but help you around the house and maybe even save you a penny or two. (Before doing any of these, we recommend that you wash and dry the cup out as thoroughly as you can.)
1. Paper Coffee Cups As Plant Pots
If you happen to pick up a coffee in a paper coffee cup, instead of throwing it in the bin, use it as a plant pot. Remove the lid and give it a good clean before adding compost and planting seeds of your choice. They can be an ideal worktop display in your kitchen for growing your own herbs!
2. Bird Feed
Humans aren’t the only ones that enjoy treats such as coffee or tea. Our wildlife does too… sort of! By putting some birdseed inside a cup and placing it on a table (or somewhere that is elevated slightly so that they can see it on their search for food), you can watch and see what birds and other creatures you get right on your doorstep.
You can even use them as scoops for your pet’s food to save you from purchasing a plastic one. This may even come in handy when gardening as if you don’t have many tools of your own, you can utilise your cup as a scoop for the dirt and other materials when planting. You could always shred the cup too and add it to your compost once it has reached its finite amount of uses.
After rinsing thoroughly, you can turn your cup into a storage container for a number of items. These could range from pens, cotton buds, make-up, and any other bits and pieces that you have laying about. Don’t want a coffee cup sitting on your side? You can customise the exterior to fit your aesthetic of your room with a splash of paint and colour.
4. Paper-Based Crafts
Have you ever heard of the term decoupage? Decoupage is a creative technique used to decorate various objects by cutting out pictures from various papers or napkins and applying them with glue in layers onto an object. This is something that you can do to liven up your coffee cup so it can be used for storage or as a decorative piece. There are also other projects you can try such as coffee cup fairy lights, paper cup phone speakers and many more.
5. Paint Pots
If you have little ones that love to paint, or you find yourself needing a container to put your paint in for your own projects, why not use your coffee cups? That way, you don’t have to worry about making a mess of your favourite containers and instead, just enjoy getting creative.
So the next time you are out and fancy a takeaway coffee, maybe consider how you could use the cup to your advantage… once you have drank the contents of course!
The Paper Fact File
Paper is one of the most sustainable and recycled materials in the world!
Visit the Paper Fact File to discover the facts about paper’s sustainable attributes. Some might surprise you!