Little Changes Make a Big Difference: The Billion Dollar Coffee Industry.

As much as my financial advisor advises me against it, I am a sucker for going to a good coffee shop, and against my goodwill, buying a $4 coffee.

Sure, I make my own coffee at home to kick off my day, but there’s something special about going to a cool local coffee shop to get my caffeine fix. In fact, I’m writing this from a coffee shop right now.

I always try to bring my own reusable coffee mug when I can. The idea of a plastic cup, top, and straw being used every time I want to transfer coffee to my face is repulsive. That being said, I am human, sometimes I forget to bring it. If I forget to bring it I at least ask for a paper cup to drink my iced coffee out of because that is slightly better than a plastic cup.

Today was one of those days where I forgot to bring my personal mug and asked for a paper cup for my iced coffee. The barista mentioned to me that they use biodegradable cups, which got me really excited.

Shoutout to Better Buzz Coffee for using biodegradable coffee cups.

I was wondering what the stars were about coffee, cups, and the overall industry. Here are a few facts about the coffee industry I learned:

  • Coffee is worth over $100 billion worldwide.
  • American coffee drinkers average 3 and a half cups of coffee every day.
  • Coffee shops are the fastest growing niche in the restaurant business.
  • A recent report said that there are 600 billion cups that are produced and sold globally on an annual basis. Source: Christy Slay with The Sustainability Consortium.
  • Starbucks uses around 7 billion cups each year.
  • While the cups can be recycled, their plastic lining makes it difficult.

As we all know, single use plastics are a major issue facing our planet. If 600 billion cups of coffee are being drank every year, thats 600 billion cups that end up in landfills and oceans. We need to encourage major corporations to take initiatives to use biodegradable products when serving their coffee.

Hearing that Better Buzz Coffee in San Diego uses biodegradable cups makes me want to go there even more. As a coffee shop owner, take note. People care about this stuff and will make their consumer decisions based on it. If you are a coffee drinker, be sure to be mindful of these types of things when you can, and most importantly, bring a reusable coffee mug when you can.

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Dylan Welch
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.
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