Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

How green is your coffee habit?

September 23, 2008

garbage12.JPGDespite the wide range of organic and other “green” coffee on the market, 67 percent of coffee drinkers who frequent coffee shops admit to discarding used paper cups into a regular trash can rather than a recycling bin, according to a new survey of 1007 Internet users conducted by Kelton Research and commissioned by Tata Group’s Good Earth Coffee.
That means about 28 billion cups (100 million pounds of paper) end up in U.S. landfills every year.

The study also showed that 42 percent of Americans believe it takes less time for a paper coffee cup to decompose (20 years) than a newspaper (2 weeks). Not to mention the fact that many paper coffee cups can’t be recycled or composted because of the materials with which they are coated.garbage21.JPG

More than 30 percent of survey respondents said they were willing to pay extra for organic coffee or coffee that came in an eco-friendly container.

Meanwhile, the weak U.S. economy appears to be making a dent when it comes to improving the environment. That’s because the biggest consumer trend in coffee is brewing your own at home — maybe saving some green will also help save the planet.

(Photo: Reuters) 


Paper cups suck. It’s not just coffee. Anyone who thinks a full-grown adult should be drinking out of something designed for the birthday parties of four-year-olds needs to get a clue.

Posted by Rocky D | Report as abusive

Sounds like an educational opportunity for the coffee shops. They should train their customers on how to properly dispose of those cups.


I refuse to buy coffee on the go anymore. If you drink a rich, robust cup of coffee you don’t need to carry around five cups a day. I have a cup of pure Kona coffee (no blends – I get the real deal at instead of buying questionable blends) in the morning at home and I’m good to go. You can also bring your own container (not disposable) to buy coffee on the go if you want, instead of using their wasteful disposable cups.

Posted by Stacey | Report as abusive

Unsure where you get your information as all paper cups can be recycled…


Brewing your own at home is gaining in popularity across the U.S.

We’ve created an 8 Step Coffee Cupping Guide that anyone can do at home.


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