Disposable cup, this dismay containing

Single-use glass, originally adopted as a hygiene, became plastic from the 1960s. Diffused thanks to fast foods, it is a symbol of triumphant consumerism … that we would throw away well in the trash.


Any self -respecting festival -goer has a misty memory of having danced one day with a lukewarm beer by hand, hop sea clapping in the circumference of a plastic cup. Portable evidence that was then found littering the ground, a scathing summary of the programmatic wood mouth which accompanies the consumerism erected to the rank of cardinal value. But precisely, how this dispensable object, weighing on decades for decades our ecological passive and whose provision has been prohibited since 1 er January 2020, could he pass for such evidence?

Before finishing in the garbage cans in history, the disposable cup has gradually emerged from a magma of technical possibilities used by American industrialists and proteifers who have all contributed, in their own way, to modify our relation to sustainability. As the philosopher Jeanne Guien recalls in her fascinating work consumerism through her objects. Vitrines, goblets, deodorants, smartphones … (Diverges, 2021), “disposable cups appeared in the United States at the beginning of the 20th e century, in the context of controversy around public fountains and” common cups “which made it possible to drink there. Suspected of transmitting germs, these cups were the subject of prohibition at the beginning of the 20th e century”.

significant resistance

First of paper doubled with paraffin, disposable cups are an alternative, carried by the hygienism interested in advertising words. Proposed for sale in distributors placed in trains, streets and stations, they however arouse significant resistance from consumers who continue to use reusable means to quench their thirst – we are at the stage where the evidence is not yet so obvious.

Having become plastic from the 1960s and associated with the convenience of triumphant modernity, the cup is spreading thanks to fast foods, where it makes it possible to calibrate the quantities of liquid and limit the gestures of workers who do not have more dishes to do. It is also found in distributors of hot drinks of companies, as well as in the domestic universe, where it is associated with the party. A sort of tutor object repeating you in gentle that a better future necessarily goes through the trash.

At this stage where the evidence is less and less contested, the proactive promotion of the single -use cup contributes to shaping a subject on the go, taken in the flows of the city, with its coffee starbucks or its soda to The hand, image of an archetypal and creative New York that floods films and series. “It is the accessory of a moving body requiring to be maintained, hydrated, energized, without it asking them for attention or effort, without it taking time,” writes Jeanne Guien.

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/Media reports.