Bamboo cups are so harmful to people and the environment

Because the trash cans on the streets were overflowing, many citizens decided to switch to thermos and bamboo mugs. The latter are ideal for traveling. They are light, robust, can be filled anywhere and are good for the environment. But as the Stiftung Warentest has now found out, the colorful bamboo cups are by no means an environmentally friendly alternative because they are too many pollutants contain, incorrectly declared are and also plasticalso have plastic in the material.

That’s really in the cups

The cups are advertised as a purely natural product, which consists of environmentally friendly materials and can even be completely degraded. In fact, that’s not the case: Bamboo coffee mugs consist of fine powder made from ground bamboo, glue and melamine resin. This resin is a plastic composed of formaldehyde and melamine. Under the right manufacturing conditions and certain behavior in use, melamine is not harmful and is even used for children’s tableware. Up to a temperature of 70° C, the substance does not release any significant amounts of pollutants.

Possibly harmful to health

At temperatures above 70° C, melamine is suspected Diseases in the bladder and kidney systems to cause. formaldehyde can irritation on the skin, respiratory tract and eyes and increases the risk of inhalation Cancer in the nasopharynx. This is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to put the bamboo mug in the microwave.

This is how Stiftung Warentest examined the cups

To test how many pollutants the bamboo cups released, the cups were filled with 3% acetic acid and kept warm at 70°C for two hours. The vinegar should simulate a slightly acidic liquid like coffee. The cups were refilled a total of seven times. On the third and seventh fills, the melamine and formaldehyde levels in the liquid were measured.

The result

Stiftung Warentest found a very high melamine content in four out of twelve cups after the third filling and in three other cups after the seventh. Formaldehyde was also included in high amounts found. With each additional use of the cups, more formaldehyde accumulated in the drink.

Environmentally harmful mug?

Since the bamboo cups contain plastic, they are anything but biodegradable. Stiftung Warentest criticizes the insufficient declaration of the cups, after all the recycling symbol (the triangle of three arrows) has no place on the cups. The components of the cups can no longer be separated during recycling. Energetic recycling follows from this: incineration, which makes no sense for environmentally conscious buyers.

Which cup can I still use?

For bamboo mugs, look at the material structure. In contrast to bamboo cups with plastic, this is noticeable in pure bamboo products. Alternatively, you can also switch to a thermos mug. The metal lasts for many years!

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