Last updated: August 17, 2021

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This time we are going to comment on an ideal product for our outings, parties, meetings, among others. The plastic cup: economical, durable, attractive and much more than just a container for liquids.

Plastic is an artificial compound found in most of the products we consume. At the same time, it is excellent for the construction of glasses as they represent a monetary saving, there are many types, designs and colours, which are ideal for every occasion. Surely there is one for you!

Don't miss the following buying guide, where we will review each of the important items to take into account when buying a plastic cup, what type it is, where to find it, its price and much more! We'll tell you all about it, below.




Summary

  • A plastic cup is a very popular product especially in situations where it cannot be washed or there are many diners to cater for. They are very beneficial because of their low cost, variety of designs and colours.
  • Pay attention when buying a plastic cup, they can be disposable or reusable. Both can be customised and come in different models and shapes. The difference lies in the composition of their materials, resistance and the type of beverage that each cup can hold.
  • One of the keys to choosing the best plastic cup, after deciding what specific purpose you need it for, is to consider the type of plastic it is made of, the different designs available for each beverage and the accessories that will make your cup stand out from the crowd.

The Best Plastic Cup: Our Picks

The best feature of plastic cups is the wide variety of offers available on the market, there is one for every occasion. With the following list, we hope to give you the best recommendations for this product, so you can have a reference when choosing your own.

Buying Guide

Plastic cups can be a very simple product, however, there are many types and qualities that differentiate them and make them ideal for certain occasions more than others. In this buying guide, we will give details about what they are, their advantages, types and in short, everything you need to know to choose the best one.

Thermal plastic cups will keep your coffee hot for as long as possible (Photo: Marion Michele /Unsplash.com)

What is a plastic cup and what are its advantages?

A cup is a type of container, usually made for liquids. These products have the advantage of existing in many colours, being recyclable, being disposable, sometimes you can see through them and sometimes not. Each one has a function that makes it stand out and there is one that is right for what you are looking for.

These cups are made to be used either by a very large number of people or because they are in a remote location with no washing facilities within reach. They are best for cold liquids; however, they can be used with hot liquids at the risk of the glass breaking or melting.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Plastic is recyclable
  • Variety of designs
Disadvantages
  • Takes approx. 80 years to degrade
  • Cannot be recycled with other plastics
  • Cannot withstand high temperatures

Disposable or reusable plastic cups - what should you look out for?

Most plastic cups are for disposable products. However, it comes in many qualities and types. Each type of plastic is used for a different type of cup. These can make the difference between a cocktail glass and a soda glass. Broadly speaking, there are two variables:

Disposable

This type of glass is intended for one-time use only. They are very economically priced. There are many types of disposable plastic cups. They are ideal for parties, hot and/or cold drinks. Unfortunately, they cause more pollution to the environment as they take many years to degrade.

Recyclable

The alternative to disposable cups are recyclable cups. They are made of plastic, the difference is that it is recycled and also in a cup that can be used more than once. They are ideal for your outings, family parties, for children. They have the advantage of being very versatile in terms of their designs and colours.

Disposable Reusable
Use Cold drinks Hot and cold drinks
Impact resistance No Yes
Type of plastic PET, Polystyrene Polypropylene
Other materials Paper, foam and plastic Ceramic, glass and plastic
Stability Hand grip required Stable

Buying Criteria: Factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of Plastic Cups

Although plastic cups are very easy to buy, there are certain factors that will help you compare them and choose the one that best suits your needs. Some cups are better for hot or cold drinks. Others are disposable or reusable - it's your choice!

Plastic for disposable cups

Plastic is one of the favourite materials when it comes to making and using disposable cups. This material is highly malleable, so you can achieve colourful results and perfect for any design, be it champagne glasses, ice cream cups, traditional glasses, etc. The types of plastic for these cups are:

PET

Made from polyethylene terephthalate. Their main characteristic is that they have a crystalline appearance and are resistant to impacts and cracks. They are the favourite for serving cold drinks such as milkshakes or natural juices. They are also suitable for lids and have an elegant and eye-catching appearance.

Injectable polystyrene

They are also glass effect, very similar to the previous model, but their plastic is more rigid. They are for single use only, but as they are more resistant you can use them more than once. They are ideal for parties and events because they come in many colours and designs, perfect for combining with other accessories.

Plastic for reusable cups

  • Thermoformed Polypropylene: These cups are often sold as "unbreakable" because they surpass the previous models in crack resistance, they do not scratch or shatter. They are suitable for hot and cold beverages and can also be used in the microwave. Available in different designs and colours.
  • Injected polypropylene: Like the previous model, it is very resistant to both hot and cold liquids. These can be easily reused because they are very similar to a glass tumbler, but these are shatterproof.

Accessories

In the case of cups, there are accessories that help us to cover all needs and one of these accessories can make the difference in which cup to choose, for which type of liquids, for whom a certain model is better, etc. These are the most common accessories for plastic cups:

Lid

It is essential to prevent the liquid from spilling. Regardless of whether it is a disposable or reusable cup, lids can be of two different models; flat lids are perfect for juices, coffees, tea, milk, among others. While the dome type lids are used for smoothies, milkshakes, fruits, etc.

Protective cover

This accessory can make the difference in your plastic cup. In case of use with hot liquids, it will prevent your hand from touching the heat directly. On the other hand, when used with cold liquids, it will prevent contact with moisture and ice, as well as give a better grip on the glass.

Straw

A straw helps to sip liquids from the glass. It is also useful for mixing liquids, avoiding direct contact with the glass and will give your drink a sophisticated and eye-catching look. Prefer reusable ones as they are more environmentally friendly.

Designs

  • Cocktails: They need an elongated glass to contain a large amount of ice, as well as being voluminous so that what is inside stands out. They are ideal for parties and gatherings that do not require the use of a crystal glass.
  • Water: This is the ordinary glass, it should be neither too big nor too small, since it should be useful for anyone who wants to use it, children, adults, seniors, etc. The design is called water, but it can be used for any liquid, hot or cold.
  • Beer: If you need your plastic cup especially for serving beer, we recommend you to choose a Pilsen glass, which has an elongated and voluminous shape. Thanks to this shape, the beer can rotate and rest before being drunk. This allows it to take full advantage of its qualities.
  • Wine: Many people believe that wine or certain liquors should be drunk only in glass glasses, but the offer of plastic glasses also covers this need and are very useful in cases of being away from home, camping, on a picnic, among others. They need to be low and wide to allow the wine to rest or to contain ice.

(Featured image photo: Joshua Resnick / en.123rf.com)

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