Disposable Coffee Cups Are Now Banned in Scotland's Government Buildings

iStock
iStock

Scottish legislators used to drinking from paper coffee cups will have to tweak their morning routine, thanks to a new rule passed by the government. As Resource reports, single-use coffee containers are officially banned from Scotland's main government buildings.

Instead of handing out hot drinks in disposable to-go cups, the cafes in Scottish parliament offices will now serve coffee in reusable ceramic mugs. Government officials will also have the option to bring their own travel mugs from home.

The Scottish government says it won't take long for the new rule to make a difference. Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said in a statement, "By removing single-use coffee cups from our main buildings, we will prevent 450,000 cups from being thrown away every year. That's enough cups to cover the distance between Edinburgh and Dundee."

The change comes after the European Union announced plans to phase out the single-use plastic products most likely to show up on beaches. The EU cited plastic food containers and drink cups as some of the worst offenders, and called on member states to give consumers the option to use alternative products like reusable cups, or to charge them extra for choosing disposable.

While monitoring the success of the coffee cup ban, the Scottish government will be looking into getting rid of even more single-use materials by the end of the year.

[h/t Resource]

Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Fun Fact: More Than 75 National Forests Will Let You Chop Down Your Own Christmas Tree

Want a holiday tree? Drop by your nearest national forest.
Want a holiday tree? Drop by your nearest national forest.
Artem Baliaikin, Pexels

While plenty of people celebrate the holiday season with a neat and tidy artificial Christmas tree, there’s nothing quite like having the smell of fresh evergreen fir needles littering your floor. But before you head to your nearest tree farm or Walmart, think about a national forest instead. More than 75 of them will let you chop your own tree. Best of all, it’s actually good for the forests.

The United States Forest Service encourages people to grab a holiday tree from their land because it means less competition for room and sunlight for the remaining trees and allows wildlife to flourish. All you have to do is find your nearest national forest at Recreation.gov and apply for a permit—usually $10 or so—to begin chopping. The Forest Service recommends selecting trees no larger than 12 to 15 feet in height, with a 6-inch trunk diameter. They usually ask that you select a tree roughly 200 feet away from roads or campgrounds and make sure you let someone know where you’re going in case you get lost.

Different forests have different species of trees and slightly different rules, so it’s best to check with the forest for their guidelines before you rev up the chainsaw. And no, tree traffickers, you can’t harvest trees for resale.

[h/t CNN]