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Are Disposable To Go Cups for Kids a Sustainable Solution?

It’s not surprising to know that Environmental Sustainability came in at #3 in the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 What’s Hot survey. Instead, what may be surprising is that it’s not all about food when it comes to the topic of sustainability.

In an attempt to court families with children, restaurants have taken the Kids Menu to new levels and many have implemented recyclable kids’ cups. At first glance, these cups appear both sturdy and user friendly, but they also raise questions from some of the toughest critics — moms.

Restaurants talk about the benefits these cups offer and the wait staff often enthusiastically cite the idea of sustainability. Although many eateries are pleased that their offering of kids’ cups can be brought home, reused and recycled, many environmental conscious parents are not so enthusiastic. How many more of these cups do parents need and how reusable are they?

How Reliable Are Disposable Kids Cups?

Just as food containers are designed and tested to tolerate the type of food that will be contained in them (acid, fat or alcohol), disposable cups are also designed with usage limitations. These disposable cups are not intended nor recommended for re-use. Reusable drink cups have to be durable and easily washable which is why parents who have used these cups know that the bendy straw becomes moldy after one use, while the cups themselves start to weaken from washing.

KidsCup1 - Cambro BlogWhile many cities are just beginning to recycle these cups and some are recycling the lids too, many restaurants are just tossing them out. As a result, a sizable amount of cups are still getting dumped in landfills even though they are labeled as “recyclable.”

A Reliable Solution

There are many steps restaurant operators can take to support Environmental Sustainability but recyclable kids’ cups is a misstep. There are better options like the impact-resistant and reusable Laguna and Newport tumblers from Cambro that can be customized and cost pennies to sanitize and reuse. With CamLid® Kid Lids available to fit these tumblers, these reusable tumblers minimizes both the operators cost and the amount of waste in the trash.

Contact your Cambro Representative to learn about the CamLid Kid Lid Program.

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