Good Intentions

Are not enough and often misguided.  When it comes to the environment where there more emotion than facts it can lead to more hard than good.  Here is a great example of bad ecological decisions made by a misunderstanding about the underlying facts as reported by The Huffington Post:



Go into Jamba Juice today and you’ll find something new. Your drink will be served in a specially designed double-walled paper cup.

That’s because, back in August 2012, when fifth grader Mia Hansen ordered a smoothie at a Jamba Juice in Carlsbad, California, only to have it served to her in a polystyrene foam cup, she started a petition on asking the company to stop using foam cups. After her petition received 135,000 signatures in three weeks, Jamba Juice announced it would end its use of foam food service containers. Recently, the company began phasing in what it calls an “eco-friendly” cup — a paper cup featuring a design created just for the drinks it sells. “As a company with a strong concern for people and the planet,” CEO James D. White said about the cup, “we continually seek to improve our environmental footprint across all areas of our business, and our move to this innovative paper cup is a major milestone in these efforts.”

But there are problems with this foam-to-paper shift. Despite common public perception, paper cups are not easy to recycle. Most paper cups are lined with a thin layer of wax, which makes the cup difficult to recycle. Indeed, one recent study revealed that in major American cities only 10 percent of paper food service containers are recycled, lower than the 16 percent for foam containers. In addition, a paper cup creates more solid waste, by weight, than its foam counterpart.

Consider also the process used to make a paper cup — harvesting wood, converting wood into paper, then producing the cup itself. “It takes two and a half times as much energy to make a paper cup as it does to make a foam cup,” Christopher Bonanos wrote in New York. “Foam cups are also much lighter than paper cups, reducing the amount of fuel needed to ship them to the store and to cart them away as trash. Foam also produces a lot less manufacturing waste, because there are no paper offcuts to discard.” As a result, a paper cup actually creates a larger carbon footprint than a foam cup, a result opposite to what Jamba Juice is trying to achieve with its move from foam to paper.

Such problems are a thing of the past with…  ecoSmart.


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