Plastic cups vs paper cups, who will dominate the beverage market?

On a hot summer day, it is inevitable to go to the drinks shop to buy a cup of cold drink to quench your thirst. But attentive customers will find that different businesses have different choices for beverage packaging, they are usually paper cups or plastic cups. Recently some top milk tea brands have chosen to give up paper cups and join the plastic cup camp.

Some people support this change, while others oppose it. Supporters said that the plastic cup is more transparent, which helps to see the color of the drink, the degree of turbidity, and the amount of auxiliary materials added, so that you can drink more comfortably. Opponents have given the following reasons: First, they think that plastic cups look cheaper and have a bad touch; Secondly, they think that paper cups are safer, and plastic cups cannot guarantee that they will not produce hazardous substances in high temperature environments.

Everyone has their own opinion on the appearance of beverage packaging. But for the safety and health issues, whether it is the beverage itself or its packaging, are the issues that consumers are most concerned about. Which of the disposable plastic cups and paper cups used in the beverage market is safer? This article will make a simple analysis.

Usually disposable paper cups are composed of the following parts: paper, printing ink, industrial paraffin, coated paper.

Many manufacturers do not use food grade wood pulp paper because it can’t help them pursue maximum benefit. If the paper’s quality is poor (recycled waste paper), bleaching powder and fluorescent whitening agents are going to be used, which ordinary consumers cannot distinguish. In addition, after the printed paper cups are stacked, the ink is likely to contaminate the inner wall of the paper cup. And in order to make the paper cup waterproof, it usually needs to be soaked in paraffin. The wax contains a harmful substance called “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons”. Coated paper have a scientific name called polyethylene plastic film. Many paper cups now use coated paper instead of paraffin. But the outer wall of the cup without paraffin’s protection may become moldy when it gets wet, causing contamination.

Compared with the production process of paper cups, plastic cups are much simpler. The commonly used plastic cup materials are PET, PP, PS, etc. PET cups are generally used to make coffee cups. Their transparency is relatively high and suitable for cold drinks. The plastic cups used in chain stores like Starbucks are PET materials. PP is resistant to high temperature, can be heated by microwave, can hold boiling water, and can be used for a long time at normal temperature. PS is not resistant to high temperatures, so it is commonly used in the field of cold beverage packaging. In the production process, plastic cups are healthier than paper cups. Because the production process of plastic cups is simple, it is packaged immediately after forming and cooling at high temperature. Paper cups have multiple processes such as printing, paper cutting, film attaching, reeling, and curling, which are very complicated. The more complex process steps mean the greater possibility of contamination of the packaging, in this regard plastic cups are better.

From this point of view, plastic cups are relatively safer, so it is understandable that they are widely used in the beverage industry. But I hope that businesses will not blindly pursue benefits and use low-quality beverage packaging to reduce costs. Only in this way can the road of plastic packaging go further and further.As a professional food packaging company, Lucky Time has a lot of experience in the production and design of both plastic cups and paper cups. Lucky Time is committed to providing all customers with packaging that meets its standards, hoping to become a supplier who can be believed by all customers.