Plastic Cups vs Styrofoam Cups: Which is better?
Of plastic cups vs Styrofoam cups, which one is really the best to use? Styrofoam and plastic are close competitors in the market when it comes to disposable cups. It is best to distinguish first the differences between these products—from the cost to environmental effects—before you decide on buying them, especially in bulk. There are several differences of plastic cups vs Styrofoam cups to help you decide which one to purchase.
Plastic and Styrofoam are two types of disposable cups that are often more convenient to use than reusable ones. Plastic comes in different types that can be made personalized, just like clear plastic cups where you can put the logo of your company or write down party messages. However, plastic cups are only good for cold drinks; hot drinks should be served in Styrofoam cups. In terms of their decomposition, plastic cups melt away easily whereas Styrofoam cups are more resistant to heat.
When it comes to cost, plastic is less expensive than Styrofoam. The manufacturing and shipping of plastic is cheaper due to its lightness and additionally, it is cheaper to produce. On the other hand, Styrofoam cups can work double-purpose, since they can be used for both hot and cold drinks. It appears that while Styrofoam is more expensive, it is cost-effective as compared to plastic.
Styrofoam cups are better insulators than plastic ones. It is able to maintain the warmth or coldness of the drink because of the billions of gas bubbles trapped in it that hampers the conduction of heat. Plastic cups do not possess the same insulating properties thus they are not recommended for holding hot drinks.
The battle of plastic cups vs Styrofoam cups will ultimately boil down to the greatest consideration, Mother Earth. Plastic cups are usually designed for single use, but they can be recycled if they are still in good condition. On the bad side, about 135 pounds of greenhouse gases can be emitted by a single production of a plastic cup. Also, not all kinds of plastic can be recycled. Nonetheless, recycling centers are not able to keep up with the amount of plastics disposed daily which particularly makes thousands of tons of plastic landfills every year. Styrofoam cups cannot be recycled at all and adds more to landfill trash because it does not deteriorate. Benzene and other harmful chemicals are used in the production of Styrofoam that environmentalists claim it to be detrimental for the environment. Though plastic cups are not biodegradable either, some types are generally recyclable, which makes it a more environment-friendly choice.
With these considerations when choosing plastic cups vs Styrofoam cups, keep in mind of the usage of these cups and how you will be able to dispose them. Both are convenient to use, but they have preferences in terms of the temperatures of the drinks they will hold. They also deteriorate at far differences. The ultimate choice is up to you.