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Paper cup vs Plastic cups

Paper vs plastic[edit]

life cycle inventory of a comparison of paper vs plastic cups shows environmental effects of both with no clear winner.[20]

Polyethylene (PE) is a petroleum-based coating on paper cups that can slow down the process of biodegrading of the paper it coats.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable bio-plastic coating used on some paper cups. PLA is a renewable resource and is certified compostable, which means that when it biodegrades, it does not leave behind any toxic residues.[21] Although PLA-lined cups are the only paper cups which can be composted fully, they can contaminate the waste stream, reportedly making other recycled plastics unsaleable.[22]

All paper cups can only be recycled at a specialised treatment facility regardless of the lining.[23]

A number of cities – including PortlandOregon — have banned XPS foam cups in take-out and fast food restaurants.[24]

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