Can I Drink Hot Coffee From A Plastic Cup? 

Beverage Cups

Plastic cutlery, kitchenwares, plates, and cups are quite appealing and convenient to use in almost all types of situations. Cups come in different designs, colors, and sizes. These plastic cutlery are considered a blessing to use in all types of events for all types of drinks and food. However, the most popular usage of plastic cups is drinking coffee in them. At the same time, the question is whether drinking hot coffee in a plastic cup is safe or not. 

People have their concerns when it comes to using plastic cups, especially for hot coffee. As plastic starts leaving toxic chemicals in the drink after reaching a certain temperature. Therefore to understand this theory, read this article and find out about other safer alternatives that you can use for drinking hot coffee.

can i drink hot coffee from a plastic cup

Key Takeaways

  1. Disposable cups are not considered safe, especially for drinking hot coffee.
  2. Plastic cups are less durable but more expensive.
  3. Besides form plastic cups, there are a variety of other safer alternatives.

Understanding Plastic Cups

People have quite concerns about the usage of plastic cups for drinking coffee. However, to understand its safe usage, one has to consider so many factors. Some of them include the type of plastic it uses as it tells whether drinking in it is safe or not.

Plastics Used To Make Plastic Cups

Plastic cups come in two types of categories; plastic tumblers and disposable cups. However, tons of plastic material are used to make the latter. Some of them include the following materials.

Types Of Disposable Plastic Cups

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET):

It has a 255-degree Celcius melting point. The cups are clear and lightweight. Moreover, these cups have high heat-resistant and wear and tear quality. But they are non-degradable and non-eco-friendly.

Bioplastic/ PLA Plastic:

The melting point of this material varies from 170 to 180 degrees Celcius. It is considered one of the best eco-friendly plastics as compared to PET. Moreover, it has biodegradable quality. The cups made from this material are highly durable and functional. Moreover, they are usually best for coffee shops, restaurants, etc.

Polypropylene (PP):

It has a 130-degree Celsius melting point. It is one of the most affordable options. It is considered suitable for both hot and cold drinks. Moreover, it does not contaminate the drink or food even after reaching a specific temperature.

HDPE Material:

It has a 130-degree Celsius melting point. This material is considered one of the strongest materials which can bear pressure. However, with their strong structure, cups made from them are less sensitive to damage or spill.

Melting Point & Harmful Chemicals

Plastic cutlery and dishes make their usage convenient to most people, which makes them popular. However, they have negative effects on the human body. According to several scientific studies, plastic starts releasing toxic chemicals after reaching a specific temperature. These toxic chemicals, however, lead to several fatal diseases. Some of the long-term diseases include infertility, cancer, obesity, and metabolic malfunction.

Are Plastic Cups Safe For Hot Liquids?

Various plastic cups, especially disposable plastic cups, are not considered safe for drinking hot drinks. Even the FDA approved the theory that plastic cups can cause severe health damage if the drink is exposed to its chemical.

Moreover, according to one study, plastic cups of food grade can also release toxic chemicals in less time. Plastic cups release a toxic chemical, Bisphenol-A, which leaves a drastic impact on human health. Some of them may include:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Type 2 diabetes
  3. Heart disease
  4. Behavioral issues in adults
  5. Effects of fetuses for the long term.

Environmental Impact Of Using Plastic Cups

Apart from affecting human health, plastic cups also have a bad impact on the health of the environment. Therefore it needs utmost consideration before selecting it for drinking purposes. Fun Fact, plastic cups are considered to take a minimum of 450 years and a maximum of 1 century to decompose fully. 

Moreover, plastic cups can release harmful chemicals into the environment and its surrounding. This not only puts the lives of humans and animals at risk but also harms the soil. Moreover, the breakdown can also put the life at risk of those people who live nearby. However, instead of using plastic cups, choose safer and better alternatives.

Best Practice For Using Plastic Cups For Hot Coffee

Hot coffee is one of the necessary drinks for all generations. However, plastic cups are considered astonishingly appealing and convenient for their use. Whereas plastic cups have drawbacks when used for hot drinks, which makes them not one of the best choices. However, you may be looking for a safer chance to use plastic cups without affecting their cons.

Tips For Using Plastic Cups Safely For Hot Coffee

The use of plastic cups, especially for hot drinks, is causing great concern. However, one can safely use a plastic cup for drinking hot coffee with the following tips. 

  1. Before pouring a hot drink into a plastic cup, make sure to always fill it with cold or ice water first.
  2. Make sure to avoid any other heat source for an already heated-up drink.
  3. Also, to avoid holding a hot plastic cup for too long, make sure to drink it quickly. 

Avoiding the Microwave

The process of making a plastic glass or cup that one can use safely for hot drinks is quite difficult. However, do not use a microwave to make everything a little safe. Make sure to never put a plastic cup or glass in the microwave as it enhances the risk of toxic chemicals of the material mixing with your drink, which later can affect your health badly.                                                        

Alternatives To Using Plastic Cups For Hot Beverages

Plastic cups are considered one of the most convenient options which offer a wide range of purposes. However, they may come with some unwanted risk that not only affects human health but also harms the environment. Therefore, some other alternatives are safe to use for hot coffee. Other alternatives like ceramic cups, disposable cups, and glass cups all offer quite astonishing benefits. 

Best Alternatives Of Using Plastic Cups For Hot Drinks

Glass Cups


(i) Highly maintains the heat

(ii) Suitable for hot drinks

(iii) Easy to afford

(iv) Easy to clean


(i) Less durable

(ii) Sensitive to breaking

Stainless Steel Cups


(i) Highly durable

(ii) suitable for both cold and hot

(iii) a safer option

(iv) Maintains the temperature perfectly

(v) Reusable

(vi) Easy to use and affordable

(vii) Mostly lightweight


(i) Quite expensive

(ii) Gives off a metallic taste sometimes

Ceramic Cups


(i) Keep the heat longer

(ii) Quite durable as compared to others

(iii) Easy to maintain and clean

(iv) Offers a wide range of aesthetic colors and designs


(i) Breaks easily

(ii) Durable but not much

Starbucks Plastic Cups


(i) Highly affordable

(ii) High durability

(iii) Comes in a wide range of designs


(i) Less ec-friendly option

(ii) Release toxic chemicals

Starbucks Tumblers


(i) Recyclable

(ii) Eco-friendly

(iii) Offers a wide range of designs

(iv) suitable for hot drinks

(v) Manage to keep the temperature longer


(i) highly expensive

(ii) Cannot control heat better as compared to other materials

Plastic Tumblers


(i) Very lightweight

(ii) High Durability

(iii) Affordable

(iv) Offer different sizes and designs


(i) It can release toxic chemicals when it comes in contact with heat

(ii) Does not suitable for hot drinks

(iii) Not an eco-friendly option

Steel Tumblers


(i) It pretty nicely controls the heat

(ii) An eco-friendly option than a plastic cup

(iii) high durability

(iv) Works perfectly well with hot drinks


(i) More expensive

(ii) Get scratch and dent faster


Plastic cups seem a more appealing and convenient option to use for hot coffee, but it is not one of the right options. Well, no one can stop you from utilizing plastic cups. However, using its alternative can definitely change the whole benefit game. Moreover, plastic cups can harm both the health of a person and the environment. Therefore, other alternatives like ceramic cups, glass cups, and steel tumblers consider the more beneficial and safer option. These alternatives not only save your health but also the planet from its bad impacts.


Can you use Starbucks plastic cups for hot coffee?

Yes, plastic cups from Starbucks are considered the best choice for hot coffee. However, ensure that the cupe must have an FDA-approved certification mark.

Does a solo cup melt with hot coffee?

Well yes. Solo cups are not considered one of the best options for hot coffee.

Are plastic cups safe for drinking hot coffee?

Plastic cups are not a safer option for hot coffee as compared to other eco-friendly cups like tumblers, stainless steel cups, ceramic cups, etc.

Is a Starbucks Tumbler suitable for holding hot coffee?

Yes, the Starbucks tumbler is quite suitable, but not as much as a tumbler of stainless steel. Also, they are costly. 

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