Eli5: why do we use plastic cups for cold drinks and paper cups for hot ones?

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Eli5: why do we use plastic cups for cold drinks and paper cups for hot ones?

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I don’t know that everyone does what you’re saying. But plastic often has chemicals that can be released into the drink by heat and if the drink is hot enough it can melt the cup.

Styrofoam cups are what i see a lot for hot drinks in group settings too. Styrofoam is s type of plastic.

I can’t remember the last time I used a plastic cup for anything. Paper cups are use almost exclusively everywhere here (UK). There aren’t any plastic straws left either.

While there are paper cups for both hot and cold drinks, in the thicknesses used for disposable cups, plastic would melt or warp from boiling liquid while paper does not. Making plastic cups much thicker to accommodate the high temps of coffee, tea, etc. doesn’t make sense from a cost or ecological standpoint.

The plastic usually used in drink cups is PET, which gets very soft near the boiling point of water (or hot coffee). This means that the cup could distort or leak when you fill it with a hot drink.