Positive Eco-Balance for Polystyrene
When all factors are weighed, including the disposal and recycling characteristic advantages of foam over paper, the foam cup is the only clear choice. In fact, if we all used foam instead of paper cups, the world's environment would be cleaner.
Eco-Balance of Production
The Production of Paper Cup consumes
Eco-Balance of Chemical consumption
- 6 times as much raw material (EPS cup consists to 90% per cent of air)
- 10 times the amount of steam,
- 300 times the volume of waste water,
- and results in waste water that contains 40 times more contaminants.
The chemical requirements to produce paper cups are large. Large amounts of chlorine, sodium chlorate, sulfuric acid and other inorganic chemicals are used.
In addition, many of the above chemicals are used on a "once-through" basis and cannot be recycled. The use of these chemicals amounts to 110 to 170 kilograms per metric ton of paper pulp, or an average of 1.4 grams per paper cup!
Eco-Balance of Materials Consumption
Paper cups are produced from "bleached" pulp. This pulp is obtained in yields approx. 50% by weight from wood chips. In total, a paper cup with a final weight of 10 grams requires 26 grams of wood plus and additional 2 grams of fuel oil or natural gas to produce, more if the finished cup is wax or plastic coated. In stark contrast, the polystyrene cup is produced entirely from hydrocarbons (gas and/or oil), with far less environmental effects as a result of exploration and recovery.
And the “double cupping” douples the environmental impact of paper cups.
Eco-friendly disposal of Polystyrene Parts
Molded polystyrene parts that cannot be recycled can be burned completely in incineration plants without residue where use is also made of the heat released.
On landfills EPS does not affect groundwater and is not a burden on the environment.