An interesting study by the Institute of Lifecycle Analysis figured out how many times a reusable cup needs to be reused before it actually begins to save energy and resources in comparison to a throwaway paper cup. They found a reusable ceramic mug would need to be used 39 times before you begin to see environmental savings; a plastic thermos would need to be used 17 times, and a heat-resistant glass mug just 15 times. What's taken into consideration is the amount of materials and resources needed to make a reusable cup, plus the amount of water and energy to wash it. So the lesson is simple: Buy one reusable cup and use it over and over and over.
ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION