How much do you know about paper coffee cups, waste, and recycling? Take this short quiz to find out

Have you had your coffee today? Good, because it’s time to test your knowledge about paper coffee cups, waste, and recycling.

 
Question 1

Most paper cups are made of:

Question 2

Why are paper cups sent to the landfill?

Question 3

If one person purchases a disposable cup every day, how many pounds of waste is created every year?

Question 4

What are six major steps in the recycling process?

Question 5

The ink on paper cups doesn’t need to be removed before being recycled into new products.

Question 6

Every ton of recycled paper saves:

And you're done!

Thanks for taking the time to take the quiz.
We hope you learned something and had a little fun, too.

Want to learn more?

Read our in-depth feature on paper coffee cups here.
If you want to learn how BASF is tackling the problem, watch the short video below.

 

ACardboard, with a thin layer of plastic tightly attached to the cup.

BMultiple layers of recycled paper and plastic.

CPaper and wax.

Correct! That’s right. The thin layer of plastic, called polyethylene, keeps heat in and prevents the cup from getting soggy.
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Incorrect! Nope. Most paper cups are made with a thin layer of plastic called polyethylene, which is what keeps heat in and prevents the cup from getting soggy.
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AMost facilities can’t recycle paper cups because they are two-dimensional coated packaging and the process to separate the polyethylene from the cup stock paper board has proven to be difficult.

BMost people don’t put their paper cups into the recycling bins.

CPaper cups biodegrade naturally in landfills.

Correct! Nailed it. Polyethylene is considered a contaminant and it is not recyclable through the paper waste stream in a recycling facility. During the sorting process cups are sent to the landfill for this reason.
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Incorrect! Polyethylene is considered a contaminant and it is not recyclable through the paper waste stream in a recycling facility. During the sorting process cups are sent to the landfill for this reason.
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A12 lbs.

B23 lbs.

C2 lbs.

Correct! That’s right! In fact, Recycling Advocates estimate that 50 million disposable cups are used per year in the metro area of Portland, Oregon. This equates to 3 million pounds of solid waste and 6,000 metric tons of CO2 being generated.
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Incorrect! Sorry, the correct answer is 23 lbs. Recycling Advocates estimate that 50 million disposable cups are used per year in the metro area of Portland, Oregon. This equates to 3 million pounds of solid waste and 6,000 metric tons of CO2 being generated.
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APick-up, sorting, re-pulping, screening, de-inking, and new products.

BPick-up, sorting, soaking, washing, drying, and folding.

CSorting, cleaning, chopping, marinating, simmering, and then taste testing.

Correct! Easy one — the other two answers were a bit ridiculous. Recycling seems simple but there are multiple steps, as well as factors that affect the recycling process, such as local government policies and access to recycling markets such as paper mills and plastic processors.
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Incorrect! Whoops! That’s wrong. Recycling seems simple but there are multiple steps, as well as factors that affect the recycling process, such as local government policies and access to recycling markets such as paper mills and plastic processors.
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ATrue

BFalse

Correct! That’s right! Paper that has ink on it must have the ink removed before it can be used in a new paper product.
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Incorrect! Unfortunately, no. Paper that has ink on it must have the ink removed before it can be used to in a new paper product.
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A1006 trees

B17 trees

C1 tree

Correct! Good guess! Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, as well as 4,100 kWh of electricity, 380 gallons of oil, 4.6 cubic yards of landfill space and 7,000 gallons of water.
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Incorrect! Incorrect. Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, as well as 4,100 kWh of electricity, 380 gallons of oil, 4.6 cubic yards of landfill space and 7,000 gallons of water.
Next Question