First in Canada ’bio-plastic’ cups: A Green Shift™ for Steam Whistle Brewing

TORONTO – Canadian beer drinkers will soon be drinking their suds out of a cup that is 100% biodegradable, thanks to an initiative from Toronto’s Steam Whistle Brewing and cup supplier, Green Shift™. The new cups are a far cry from the standard in the disposable cup market, which are made from petroleum-based plastics, most commonly polystyrene. According to Jennifer Wright of Green Shift™, an environmental consulting firm and supplier of environmental alternatives, polystyrene is a serious environmental hazard because it does not break down, is very difficult to recycle and is made with benzene (a known carcinogen).

“This bio-plastic contains no petroleum, is made from 100 per cent renewable resources and takes about 48 days to break down in commercial compost,” Wright said. “But even if many cups do end up in landfill, they will still break down and not be harming our environment.”

The Good Beer Folks at Steam Whistle will be the first in Canada to embrace the sustainable cups on a large scale, an initiative Wright applauds for its support of small business and greater environmental preservation. The cups will be launched this summer onto patios, at outdoor events, and wherever disposable cups are required.

Steam Whistle has a history of ’green thinking’: the Brewery opted out of conventional heating/cooling systems, using instead Enwave’s direct steam and deep water-cooling systems in manufacturing and for the brewery’s climate control; the highly fuel-efficient smart car has been added to their service fleet; and the brewery’s heavy green glass bottle enjoys at least twice the number of re-uses as the industry standard brown bottle. Cam Heaps, President of Steam Whistle, plans to continue to ’Green Shift™’ and says, “This bio-degradable beer cup will have a great environmental benefit as breweries use thousands of cups each year for outdoor events.”

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