Going Beyond Cardboard Cup Sleeves to Reduce Waste

We all use products today that we never knew we missed way back in the day. You know, smart phones, GPS, Netflix, the Pet Rock (okay, maybe not that last one)! For you coffee lovers out there, how did you ever survive before cardboard cup wraps appeared on take-out cups?! Well, I was curious about when this invention arrived in cafés, so I did some sleuthing.

It all started when the Java Jacket, invented by Jay Sorenson, came onto the scene in 1991. As with many brainchildren, the Java Jacket arose from a need: Sorenson burned his fingers on a cup in 1989 and spilled his coffee all over himself. (Hey, some people sue; some people create!) After many iterations, he finally landed on the Java Jacket.

 
Kollar cardboard wrap 2011 May 24 Starbucks 9713.jpg
 

Even though these light cardboard wraps marginally protect your fingers from a hot Americano or tea, they were better than nothing. So they transformed the to-go coffee scene, making the image of the neighborhood barista slipping one over your cuppa joe in the morning something most of us can relate to.

But wait a minute . . . what about all that waste? Back in the early 1990s, the idea of cardboard recycling to reduce waste wasn’t such a hot topic, so many people blithely threw their paper cups and cardboard in the trash or—worse yet—dropped them on the street.

 
 Cardboard sleeves now litter the landscape across the United States because people have found it more convenient to drop them on the pavement than to recycle them in order to reduce waste.

Cardboard sleeves now litter the landscape across the United States because people have found it more convenient to drop them on the pavement than to recycle them in order to reduce waste.

 

Technically, cardboard wraps can be recycled and reused, but unfortunately, most are not – in fact, about 40% of the solid waste mass that makes up our landfills is paper and cardboard, according to the Living Coast Discovery Center. These days, we must be more thoughtful about how to reduce waste. Still, cardboard wraps paved the way for other more sustainable products to emerge.

For example, Koffee Kompanions’ original Kup Kollars (TM) are also 100% recyclable and reusable -- and they last for years through many washings. Kup Kollars burst onto the beverage scene in 1996 to keep your beverages hotter or colder, longer in take-out cups, portable carafes, bottles, and glasses.

 
  Kup Kollars  (TM) by Koffee Kompanions are sustainable, Thinsulate-insulated sleeves for takeout cups, drinking glasses, and bottles that last for years through many washings.

Kup Kollars (TM) by Koffee Kompanions are sustainable, Thinsulate-insulated sleeves for takeout cups, drinking glasses, and bottles that last for years through many washings.

 

Talk about a way to reduce waste! Look, take-out coffee cups aren’t going away any time soon, but at least we can say “no” to cardboard wraps when we have our trusty Kup Kollars to put on every take-out drink.

What do you think about cardboard recycling versus reusing sustainable products? Let us know in the comment section below.

 
Perry LuckettComment