Will unsafe paper cups be next in the discard list?

Person drinking three cups of tea in them will end up ingesting 75,000 tiny microplastic particles, says a study

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, November 14, 2020, 08:56 PM IST
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Paper Cup/ Representational Image |

After discarding disposable plastic tea cups, it is now time to get rid of paper tea cups as they are not safe from a health point of view.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, in its study, has found that disposable paper cups are not safe for drinking tea and a person drinking three cups of tea in them will end up ingesting 75,000 tiny microplastic particles.

Bhopal municipal corporation (BMC) administration said that if any guideline is issued with regard to discarding the paper cups, the municipal body will abide by it .

BMC Commissioner KVS Chaudhary said, “ IIT Kharagpur has found that disposable paper cups are not safe for drinking tea. But BMC will initiate action as per the directives and guidelines of the health department.”

Principal secretary Industry Sanjay Shukla said , “ It is true that paper cups are not safe as are usually lined by a thin layer of hydrophobic film which is made of mostly plastic (polyethylene) and sometimes co-polymers to hold the liquid in the paper cup. But let the health department raise the issue first.”

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, in its study, has found that disposable paper cups are not safe for drinking tea and a person drinking three cups of tea in them will end up ingesting 75,000 tiny microplastic particles.

The research has confirmed contamination of the hot liquid served in paper cups due to the degradation of microplastics and other hazardous components from the lining material of the cup. Paper cups are usually lined by a thin layer of hydrophobic film which is made of mostly plastic (polyethylene) and sometimes co-polymers to hold the liquid in the paper cup. Within 15 minutes this microplastic layer degrades as a reaction to hot water.

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