Civil society organisations around the world are taking action on Wednesday and Thursday, March 22 and 23, 2017 to demonstrate that awareness is growing about the need to avoid using throwaway cups, which cause harm to people, forests, water and the climate. The international day of action follows the UN International Day of Forests and is an opportunity for consumers to take a forest-friendly action by choosing to use only reusable cups.

Mandy Haggith, co-ordinator of the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) said, ‘Billions of throwaway cups are used every year, then dumped, which is a pointless waste of resources. Paper cups in particular use more than 30 million trees. But ‘cup consciousness’ is growing. More and more people recognize the destructiveness of throwaway cups, and want fast food and drink companies and politicians to make it easy for us always to drink our tea and coffee from reusable vessels. Our message is simple: no throwaway cups.’

“How much longer can we continue to use like this?”

Globally, at least 58 billion throwaway cups are used each year, involving more than a million tonnes of paper.  According to life cycle estimates by the Paper Calculator, their production requires 32 million trees, 100 billion liters of water (that’s 43 thousand Olympic swimming pools) and emits as much greenhouse gases as half a million cars. Hardly any throwaway cups are recycled.

EPN member organisations around the world are campaigning on paper cups on the international day of action, including the following NGOs in China, Germany, Belgium, UK, USA and Australia: Wuhu Ecology Center – Wuhu City, Anhui province;  Snow Alliance – Xining City, Qinghai Province; Green Henan – Zhengzhou City, Henan Province,  China Green Student Forum –  Beijing,  Green Longjiang – Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province; Green Camel Bell – Gansu; CEPN – Beijing; Robin Wood – Hamburg; Denkhausbremen – Bremen; ARA – Bielefeld; Eco-Develop – Berlin; partner organisations in Freiburg and Tübingen; Reforesting Scotland – Edinburgh; Fern – Brussels; Rainforest Relief – New York; Green America – Washington DC; Stand – Seattle; Markets for Change – Hobart .

Sun Yingji, Program Officer at Green Henan, from Henan Province in China, said, ‘We should take pride in bringing our own cups, otherwise we only see mounting paper cups being thrown away, buried or burnt. It only needs a change of attitude.  Every day should be a No Throwaway Cup Day.’

Jannis Pfendtner of Robin Wood, Germany, said, ‘Within recent months German NGOs successfully put lots of pressure on companies that encourage a throwaway culture, such as the German bakery Backwerk. Now many German cities are exploring models to reduce throwaway cup consumption. Today we make clear that throwaway cups aren’t needed at all.’

In September 2016, the EPN launched a global ‘Cupifesto – A Manifesto for No Throwaway Cups’ urging drinks retailers and politicians all over the world to stop encouraging a throwaway culture, by ensuring all cups are reusable.  The EPN is a coalition of more than 140 environmental and social non-governmental organisations from 28 countries, who all share a Global Paper Vision for sustainable future paper production and use. The first pillar of the Vision is to reduce global paper consumption and promote fair access to paper.

The Cupifesto is available with background information here:

For more information contact:
in North America: Joshua Martin, +1 828 251 8558,
in the rest of the world: Mandy Haggith,+44(0)1571 844020,
and on social media: #cupifesto @WhatsNYourPapr