The Best Thing About Plant-Based, Compostable Cups: You're Not Drinking Oil

Ads for a new compostable cup want you to know exactly what you’re drinking out of.

Sometimes, the best way to highlight a problem is to present it in grotesque visual terms. Case in point: this pair of ads from Repurpose Compostables. The ads are touting Repurpose’s insulated, plant-based compostable cups, which purportedly require 65% less CO2 in production than traditional cups and compost in 90 days (assuming you don’t throw the cups in the trash). As the ads note, most cups are petroleum-based.

Repurpose’s cup has been suggested as a solution to Starbucks’ environmentally friendly coffee cup woes, and it just launched at Bed Bath and Beyond—making it easy for all of us to opt out of petroleum-based cups. And if you don’t think that’s a good idea, well, just watch the videos.

Repurpose Compostables

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  • jplcin

    I can't find anywhere Repurpose backs up their claims about 65% less CO2 and millions of barrels of oil used to make plastic. I have been in the plastics business since 1962 and have never seen a US plant that inputs oil and outputs plastic.  They all use natural gas feedstocks; rest of the world uses naptha which can't be refined anyway.  Perception is reality.  The truth is irrelevant.  If plastic is concentrated evil, boycott it.

  • Noah Qualls

    I'm not a fan of this ad. It doesn't make any powerful argument against using petroleum based products because we all know we're not actually drinking oil just because the cup was made from it. It doesn't address any of the actual downsides that might exist for using petroleum based products. Your article addresses the CO2 emission difference in production but the ad does not. Its a very silly ad. The only thing it does show is how tacky traditional red plastic cups look in comparison to the alternative cups.

  • genica reyes

    every time i go to starbucks, i always think about how much plastic they waste with each coffee order. why havent they started using these cups!