In the world of food and beverage, certain decisions must be made at the distribution level regarding materials used to produce goods. In a classic debate that has raged for generations, staff meetings around the world have tangled with the eternal question of “Styrofoam vs Plastic”. Usually applied to matters concerning cups, this debate touches on ecological, economic and financial factors that bolster arguments for each of the two sides. Listed below is a list of pros and cons when manufacturing Styrofoam cups as opposed to their plastic counterparts.
1. Foam cups are convenient. Their somewhat malleable nature makes them ideal for car holsters and other potentially tight squeezes that would cause plastic cups to literally flip their lid. Foam cups are an extra layer of comfort that some people take for granted on a daily basis. Even the mere feel of a foam cup, it can be argued, is superior to that of a plastic or even paper cup. In a facetious additional one-up to the latter, Styrofoam cups do not bend at odd angles, keeping the contents safely in the cup.
2. Foam cups are ideal for insulating temperature-sensitive drinks. Frozen beverages such as milkshakes and smoothies tend to separate into layers, making them difficult to drink effectively. Without the aid of a straw, remixing the layers into a drinkable form can be an arduous and time-consuming task. The insulating quality of a foam cup keeps the frosty beverage from losing its form and ensures its overall quality over a longer period of time. In the realm of long-term drink transportation where delivery drivers speed across town in crisscrossing patterns, the styrofoam cup reigns supreme over all possible contenders.
3. Foam cups serve a dual purpose in the beverage world, holding the potential to effectively hold any sort of drink from hot to cold. Hot beverages such as coffee tend to warp the more fragile plastic cups, releasing toxic particles into the atmosphere. While environmental concerns about foam cups will be addressed later, it is safe to say that the malleable beverage holders will not burn gaping holes in the ozone. Foam cups suffer from no such melt-related handicap, allowing them to easily hold various piping hot, caffeinated concoctions. It is safe to say that for long commutes in the morning with a stalwart beverage riding shotgun for the entire drive, styrofoam cups are far superior.
1. With the volatile state of the global market in mind, it is important to weigh out cost-effectiveness. Smaller companies with similarly reduced budgets may find that in the end, it is simply not worth it to waste resources on frivolities. To that end, manufacturing plastic and paper cups tends to run cheaper than creating, say, personalized styrofoam cups. For the wary investor, plastic cups may be a safer alternative that indirectly allocate revenue into more useful ventures. In the initial stages of investing and execution, it is better to err on the side of caution.
2. Plastic cups serve a higher environmental purpose in the fact that they can be recycled. While recycling rates around the world are still too low to be considered acceptable, the potential for reusable resources puts plastic cups on an ecological higher ground. Styrofoam cups are not biodegradable, and play their part in contributing to the looming trash crisis that has leading environmentalists acutely worried for the future. Small runs of styrofoam, however, may mitigate this problem by reducing the amount of litter created. While it won’t completely eliminate the problem, it can be managed with careful planning.
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