The Rules for Beer Pong
Now that I have your attention, I'll admit that we're not really going to go over the rules of the popular party game. You likely know that the general idea of the game is to fill red Solo cups with beer and throw Ping-Pong balls into your opponent's cups while they are trying to do the same thing to you. By the end of the night, it works out that everybody ends up drinking all the beer that once had a Ping-Pong ball in it and/or wasn't spilled on the table.
As long as you don't ask to me to help clean up, I'd like to turn your attention to the after-party. What do you do with all of those popular cups that smell of stale beer the next morning? Of course, this is an easy one—you recycle them, as you are totally into lessening environmental impact. The little triangle on the bottom means it's a recyclable item, and you just drop them into the curbside recycling container and your work is done, right?
In theory, the Solo cups are recyclable. The triangle on the bottom of all recyclables is known as the resin identification code, and it indicates the type of plastic they're made of. Solo cups are made of No. 6 thermoplastic polystyrene, a moldable plastic in everything from disposable razors to CD cases to Styrofoam containers. While it is recyclable, few centers and curbside pickups actually accept items made from this plastic, as they are hard to recycle. If the next stop is then the landfill, No. 6 plastic takes about 50 years to break down. Well, talk about a buzz kill—that's definitely enough to spoil the party, right?
We don't want to pick on just Solo cups. There are lots of recyclables, lots of challenging products, and lots of choices on who takes what. But, with a little education you can still keep to your personal commitment to environmental sustainability. Earth911, for example, has a great website with information, even including a search engine by product and zip code. Don't you agree that it's worth it to learn a little more about proper techniques of recycling?
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.