The Student News Site of Elkhorn South High School

Storm Alert

The Student News Site of Elkhorn South High School

Storm Alert

The Student News Site of Elkhorn South High School

Storm Alert

Reduce, Reuse, Rebuy

How the idea of reusable cups has backfired due to aggressive consumerism.
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Plastic water bottles are something that our society has frowned upon for a long time, which is precisely why many individuals have begun to invest in refillable water bottles. Schools and businesses also make their move in stopping plastic water bottle waste by inserting water bottle fillers in their public spaces. Overall, the age of the reduced waste revolution seems to be a greener solution to single use plastic. However what we think to be a solution has become a major problem and a huge source of consumerist waste.

When we were all kids it was the age of the Camelbak flip-lid water bottle. These were so particularly interesting because they were spill proof with a fun squishy straw, and had a nice graspable handle. So we bought two or three, thinking they would be our forever cup. 

A couple years later came the plastic screw-top water bottle. These were especially popular amongst people with outdoor hobbies and health goals. They had measurements on the side that helped to track water intake and they had an easily sipable, spill-proof lid. Once again we bought two or three for good measure, and we made sure to dispose of our “out-of-date” Camelbaks.

A few years later metal water bottles became all the rage and Yeti made their way into the market. Yeti was especially popular because it was one of the first water bottles to cost over 20 dollars and it made people feel “elite” for having one. It came in so many different styles and colors, and even better it kept ice in the cup for over 12 hours. This time people made their water bottle their personality and they began to buy more than just two or three, but four to five.

Don’t worry now, Yeti didn’t monopolize the industry for long, because in a short time Hydoroflask made their appearance to the market. Hydroflask was especially popular because it was paired with a trend…some might remember it as the VSCO girl trend. Having a hydro flask wasn’t just about “saving the turtles”, it was also about fitting in with the generational style. Everyone raced to get the next color and this time people had six to seven different bottles. 

Flash forward, society has now reached the age of the Stanley 40 oz. Tumbler. This water bottle is HUGE, minimizing fill up times. It also has a stable straw and keeps water cold for hours. People are taking their time tracking limited edition Stanley’s and buying out the shelves, never using half of the cups they buy. A couple months ago on the popular social media site Tik Tok, many middle aged Utah women were seen throwing out fifteen or more of these cups to make room for a new cup, making an obvious, laughable contradiction to the true purpose of these cups.

Cup culture continues to grow making mountains of mass consumerism in the cup industry. No longer are reusable cups a means to an end of waste, they are now, arguably, a worse source of waste than the recyclable, but single use, plastic water bottle. Buying a new reusable cup, just because it’s a fad is wasteful. So many people are disillusioned with the cup industry and the false connotation that they are actually improving society and the earth by buying these cups. So for the next trend, I ask all consumers to think about if they truly need the cup, or if the 15 they already have will suffice.

 

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About the Contributor
Taylin Nuzum
Taylin Nuzum, Design Editor, Reporter
My name is Taylin Nuzum and I am a Junior at Elkhorn South High School and part of the Elkhorn South Storm Alert Magazine. I am super excited to work with my team as design editor this year to make this year's issues even better than the last.

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