The Truth About Red Solo Cups

The truth about red solo cups

They May be Nice on your Wallet, but the Earth is Paying for Them

Red Solo Cups are a common staple at summer BBQs, but they really came into the spotlight after Toby Keith’s song, “Red Solo Cup.” The song is humorous and light hearted; however, the tone contradicts the impact the cups have on our environment after they’re thrown away.

The lyrics say, “A Red Solo Cup is cheap and disposable, in 14 years they are decomposable.” There are several factors that determine how quickly products decompose, and experts opinion vary on how long it actually takes to breakdown, but they all agree it greatly exceeds 14 years – it’s more like 450 years!

The Breakdown
The cup’s chemical bond is responsible for making the product durable, but, it also makes it resistant to decomposing. Overtime, the cup breaks into smaller pieces and releases toxic chemicals into the environment and become more likely to get ingested by animals.


  • Use reusable cups and water bottles
    whenever possible.
  • If you must use a disposable
    product, choose one that can be recycled.
  • When you’re at a party with
    disposable cups, write your name on it and keep track of it to reuse, rather
    than getting a new one.

Rates Other Products Decompose
Apple core – 2 months
Cigarette filter – 1-5 years
Plastic bag – 10-20 years
Aluminum can – 80-200 years
Disposable diaper – 450 years
Glass bottle – 1 million years

For more information on recycling, reducing and reusing products, visit us at www.WhereItShouldGo.com or call 515.244.0021

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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