How China’s environmental drive cut the cost of my coffee

The cost of drinking good coffee can easily add up. Photo credit – Pixabay

How China’s environmental drive cut the cost of my coffee

Everyday, I live with the predicament that I loath the mornings but have chosen a career which requires me to be up very early.

There is one thing, and one thing only, that makes this existence possible… coffee.

I drink far more than I really should, to the extent that I just typed out the number of cups I get through a day and then deleted it just in case my Doctor should read this article.

The cost of drinking quality coffee on a regular basis can easily add up to a significant amount every week.

However, my coffee outlay has recently been cut in half, and the reason for this lies in a slightly unusual source – environmental policy in China.

At the beginning of the year, the British press became concerned that our own government didn’t (and doesn’t) have the capacity to recycle enough waste.

This was prompted by the fact that, in January, new environmental policies made it much more difficult to other countries to export their waste to China.

The green initiative, part of President Xi Jinping’s ‘beautiful China’ initiative, banned the import of many types of waste and enhanced the quality of the materials that could still be processed.

As China transitions into becoming one of the leading green economies in the world, clearly it’s not so attractive to process waste on behalf of other countries.

That’s because, whilst recycling is in itself a desirable goal, the processes involved can actually create quite a lot of pollution.

Once the new rules came into effect, reports began emerging about ‘waste mountains’ in countries such as the UK, which had previously exported a large proportion of their ‘recycling’ to China.

Suddenly, and it really was an almost instantaneous thing, British consumers became much more aware of the environmental impact of their waste.

Above all, the disposable coffee cup came under fire from environmentalists, given how difficult it is to recycle.

Eager to jump on the bandwagon, coffee chains offered steep discounts to drinkers who supplied their own reusable cup.

After an initial outlay of £5 for a quality cup  (which is, incidentally, made in China), I’m now enjoying half price coffee at my favourite takeaway.

Thanks China!