How Promotional Merchandise Can Help To Save The Ocean

Here at C3 Promotional Merchandise, we are looking into reducing our company waste and being more environmentally friendly. This is a popular topic for discussion at the moment and it seems as though people have somewhat differing opinions. According to our Managing Director, Simon Greenfield, ‘Every time you use a plastic bottle, a dolphin dies’. Now this may be a jokingly extreme opinion but the point he is making is that we, as a race, are using far too much plastic material. The production and consumption of single-use coffee cups has been a huge topic for debate recently and there are major misconceptions with regards to the recycling of these products. Here are the facts according to an article by The Independent and a report from the Environmental Audit Committee:


-          Eunomia Research and Consulting estimate that in the UK alone we may be using up to 5 billion coffee cups per year.  

-          Half a million coffee cups are being littered every day.  

-          ‘Annual coffee cup waste in the UK is enough to fill London’s Royal Albert Hall’.  

-          Less than 1% of disposable coffee cups are actually being recycled.   


The latter of the above stats is arguably the most concerning; if coffee companies are promoting their products as being recyclable, why are they not being recycled? The answer is: Because of their complicated production process. Made largely of paper, lined with polyethylene, the materials used to produce disposable coffee cups are separately recyclable. Yet, as they are tightly bonded, to ensure the functionality of the product, they become a nightmare to recycle – this issue adds to the contamination from food and drink which means that disposable coffee cups are required to be recycled at special facilities (of which the UK has just 3).  

 These factors ultimately result in disposable coffee cups being used once and then ending up either in landfills or in the ocean. It gets worse… Unrecycled plastic takes many hundreds of years to decompose and a gradual breakdown results in tiny ‘microplastics’ which are harmful if ingested by animals. When you add the harmful effect on animals to the felling of trees (to produce the paper pulp) and the carbon footprint of producing and distributing 5 billion cups per year, there is an obvious solution…    

…Reusable coffee cups. 

Genius, I know. Now that large companies such as Pret A Manger (6th largest coffee retailer) are offering discounts for people who bring their own drinkware to use for take-away drinks, the market for promotional drinkware is on the rise. As well as this, more and more companies are becoming conscious about reducing their usage and are taking responsibility for the waste that they and their employees produce. Promotional coffee cups and branded water bottles etc. are a great way to reduce the number of disposable plastic cups being used. As well as providing promotional drinkware for employees, they make great give-away items for your customers; they are a brilliant branding tool to keep your company’s logo in sight and on people’s mind as their functionality means they will get used rather than getting thrown away - this keeps them on desks and in view for people to admire your excellent corporate branding. I know this works as I personally use a promotional mug sent from one of our suppliers.