Reusables versus disposables - a storm over teacups

Not washing your porcelain cup and saucer every time you use them should give them the environmental edge on most counts over their polystyrene and paper equivalents, a study by the Dutch Environment Ministry has concluded.

The life-cycle analysis (LCA) was carried out as part of an official programme to help consumers and retailers to make "environment-friendly" purchases by improving the flow of reliable environmental information to them.

The conclusions of the LCA are expressed in terms of "transition points" - the number of times a porcelain cup and saucer or plate have to be used in order for their environmental impacts to be less than those of polystyr

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