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The History of Stadium Cups: From Paper to Plastic

Stadium cups today are made of plastic and of varying designs. They make great promotional products because they're reusable and they're most often used in public. In tracing the history of stadium cups, one would have to go further beyond the origins of plastic cups and all the way to the first time paper cups was used. After all, in the old pre-plastic days, people who went to sports events had to carry paper cups with them.

What's a Paper Cup Made of?
Few people are aware that paper isn't the only primary material used in making paper cups. They were originally lined with wax to prevent leaking or for liquid to soak through the container. This is especially important for stadium cups and you're cheering for your team under the sun.

Nowadays, paper cups may be lined with plastic rather than wax. As for paper, recycled ones may also be used with respect to conserving the environment.

How Everything Started
In the early 1900's, cups were often used in a communal basis in certain situations like water barrels in train stations and school faucets. This, however, posted issues regarding public health. Eventually, local bans began to be implemented.

In 1908, the Dixie Cup was invented, a pivotal event that allowed paper goods to become affordable and easily available. A year later, railway companies began using disposable paper cups. Its increased use enabled it to completely banish the use of public glasses, replacing it with disposable but quite hygienic paper cups.

In the hospital scene, single-serve paper cups also replaced reusable and washable glasses. Doing so reduced the cost incurred from water bills and sanitization. The chances of cross-infection were lowered as well.

Waterproofing
Not all stadium cups produced today are made of plastic. Others still stick to using disposable paper for various reasons including the fact that paper is able to handle hot liquid while plastic can't.

In the old days, waterproofing was achieved by gluing paper together to form its shape. Afterwards, a tiny amount of clay is placed in the bottom. A spinning technique then causes the clay to spread all through the cup's walls and making it entirely waterproof. The drawback of this technique, however, was that it made your disposable paper cup slightly reek of cardboard.

In modern times, foam cups began to replace disposable paper cups. But the materials used here are non-biodegradable so many cities banned its use.

Non-promotional stadium cups today are still made of paper. Promotional stadium cups, however, are made of plastic for added marketing benefits.

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