I don’t see plastic and styrofor packaging applications being completely replaced by papers anytime soon, but the current developments I observed are nice. Sando bags are being replaced by brown paper bags, reusable cloth bags and the non-completely environment friendly oxo-biodegradable plastics. Styrofor lunch boxes, cups and plastic cups are being replaced by paper versions.
Yesterday, February 9,2013, I gathered three disposable paper cups. These cups were used to contain hot instant coffee from a coffee vending machine. I placed each cup on a petri plate and half filled with tap water.
I just want to find out how long it can hold water. The cups are made of papers. I assume that sooner or later, it will destroy itself by absorbing the water molecules. Maybe not, if it is nicely applied with wax or plastic film coating.
Update as of February 21, 2013
After 11 days of observations, there was no sign of water on petri plates. I lifted each cup and inspected the sides and bottom carefully. No wettings. No signs of water sipping through the paper cup and in between seams. It looks like this type of paper can really hold water for considerable length of time.