There is a high degree of social and personal responsibility in being an uber cool coffee lover. From the plastic and foil Nespresso pods murdering the environment, there is also your daily or regular Starbucks coffee cup.
Thinking of getting or using your own Starbucks cup is great and a common pre-purchase question to ask is: Are Starbucks cups BPA-free?
I’ll answer this question – and offer you a much better solution as I don’t like plastic at all BPA free or not for your coffee, hot or cold!
If you are in a rush, I’ll tell you now that yes, Starbucks cups are BPA-free. However, they are still made of a plastic polymer that is not free from toxins.
Keep reading to get the low down on BPA, why you should avoid it, the polymer used and a much better alternative.
What Is BPA?
BPA is an industrial chemical called bisphenol A that is commonly used in plastics and epoxy resins and has been in use since the 1950s.
It is more commonly found in polycarbonate plastics and often food storage containers, water bottles and other consumer based products. Food cans have BPA due to the epoxy resin used to coat the interior of canned goods and bottle tops.
BPA is also in the ink on paper receipts from jet ink printers.
BPA is a concern for consumers due to the potential negative health effects on the brain, prostate gland and has been said to be a cause of erectile dysfunction.
Read: What is a pour over at Starbucks
Why Should You Avoid BPA?
BPA, even in tiny amounts, is not good for various aspects of your health. Erectile Dysfunction is a reason most men should avoid it. Brain health is why everyone should avoid it. It is also associated with elevated blood pressure.
It’s not good for you, end of story!
I’m not a medic, nor do I intend on giving health advice as I am unqualified to do so, Quick searches on Google, Healthline and Web MD and Mayo Clinic for the adverse effects of BPA will tell you all you need to know that BPA is best avoided.
Heck, I avoid plastics all together, and even more so when using hot products, as plastics in general are “no bueno” for your health. They are full of xeno estrogens and other chemicals that seep out and into whatever is in them, be it that microwave meal from 7-Eleven….or a hot coffee.
More escape and into your food and drink when hot. Now you know why I avoid plastics, especially when food or any consumables are concerned.
Are Starbucks Plastic Cups Safe?
Starbucks plastic cups are not 100% safe – nor are they entirely made from recycled materials.
Their plastic cups are made from polypropylene and while free from BPA there are still risks associated with soft plastic polymers. As a customer of theirs you are 100% safe as the toxins from the polymers will still seep into your hot coffee.
Unfortunately, the effect is 55x with heated liquid than with a cool or cold liquid.
They are not 100% environmentally friendly as only 5.1% of the plastic cup is recycled.
The company is typically misleading as their coffee is hardly fair trade or as fair trade as they claim. For my own investigations and contact with Thai coffee farmers, the coffee conglomerate pays typically only 20 baht (about 60 cents) per kilo of coffee bought.
Plastic, regardless of which type, is not very good at keeping your cup of coffee hot. Which is probably why your coffee from Starbucks never stays hot for long – if you can even get them to serve you a hot cup of coffee to begin with. I find they serve their coffee cool or at best luke warm as it is anyway!
Even when you are getting cold beverages from them, or any other coffee franchise or food outlet, I advise you not to use plastic, even if it is reusable or recycled. There are much better and healthier materials that you can use.
Are All Starbucks Cups BPA Free?
there is no Bisphenol A in any Starbucks cup. This means they are safer for your hot drinks but not completely safe for your hot beverage or cold one for that matter due to their replacement material not being 100% healthy either.
A much better and healthier alternative is to use a bamboo coffee cup or stainless steel version available on Amazon. They are insulated, so keep your drink warmer for longer or cooler for longer and have non-spill lids.
If you must have your beverage in reusable cups, take your own. It is ultimately better for the environment and your health.
Starbucks does have a 17 ounce BPA-free glass bottle that has a neoprene sleeve, which is a great option also. The neoprene is made from two polyethylene PET bottles and is completely recycled. It is a great option for your health and the environment.
It will fit your 16 ounce coffee, it would be great if it was bigger (I like a double 12 ounce – 24 ounce versions would be even better).
There are many very good options on Amazon, ditch the double and single – walled reusable plastic coffee cups that are neither healthy nor a great choice for the environment.
Nothing against the company at all. If your Starbucks travel coffee cup or any of the Starbucks cups were made of better materials, I’d encourage you to use them.
What I won’t warn is the use of toxic materials BPA free or not the Polymers are still not good for you.
Is Starbucks 24 Oz Cold Cup Reusable?
their 24Oz cup is completely reusable and is designed to keep your coffee cool. It is not designed for hot drinks; it is for cold beverages only.
It is a cold beverage cup only!
Are Plastic Coffee Cups Microwave Safe?
It depends on which plastic cup you are referring to as safe.
Not all plastics are designed for use in a microwave. Plastic containers and plastic cups that are designed for the use in microwaves are labelled as such and have a symbol of a microwave on the bottom of them.
If it has #5 it has been made from polypropylene, which is considered as safe from microwaves. This basically means it will not melt or disintegrate in the microwave. It does not mean that it is healthy or good for your health at all.
Some plastics and chemicals will seep into your food, and more so if and when you are heating it up in the microwave.
I am not at all a fan of plastic at all. I have nothing against taking advantage of modern technology and convenience, like heating up meals in the microwave.
Can I bring My Own Cup To Starbucks Covid?
Starbucks, during the COVID-19 crisis, will allow you to bring your own cup to their establishment, but it must be clean. They will not permit dirty cups, not that you would bring one anyway! They will not clean your cup for you.
At their drive thru, they are testing out a safe option that permits the use of personal reusable cups.
Are Starbucks Cups Dishwasher Safe?
Yes, Starbucks cups are dishwasher-safe. They are marked as top-rack dishwasher safe for much easier cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions About Are Starbucks Cups BPA Free
Does Starbucks use BPA?
No, Starbucks cups are BPA Free.
Why Can’t I Put Hot Drinks In My Starbucks Cup?
A Starbucks cup is made of food-grade plastic. Food grade plastic is designed not to leach chemicals into your coffee. If you put extremely hot coffee it may cause the plastic to deform and warp.
Can Starbucks Plastic Cups Be Microwaved?
Yes, Starbucks coffee cups are made with polypropylene, a plastic that is microwave safe. You can put your Starbucks cup in your microwave and be worry free.
Are Starbucks Iced Cups BPA Free?
Starbucks Iced Cups are 100% BPA Free and doubled walled to keep your coffee cool.
What Kind Of Plastic Are Starbucks Cups?
Starbucks Cups are made with polypropylene and have a polyethylene plastic coating.
Do Starbucks Cups Contain Phthalates?
Starbucks cups contain 0.06 mg of diisodecyl phthalate per kilogram.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – Are Starbucks Cups BPA Free?
Starbucks cups are BPA free, but that does mean they are completely safe and should be used by you for healthy reasons as their plastic alternative still has other unhealthy chemicals. Their glass bottle is a good safer and better alternative.
There are many other such options on Amazon that you can use that are better that will insulate your drink, keeping it warmer for longer and will still qualify you for the discount for bringing your own cup.
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