women kneeling and packing plastic cups into sleeves by hand with caption "i thought cups were packaged by sanitize machines good to know"


‘I can’t unsee this’: Viral TikTok allegedly showing how workers package plastic cups sparks debate

'I’m not concerned about the germs, I’m concerned about how little they are probably making.'


Laiken Neumann


Posted on Jan 18, 2022   Updated on Jan 18, 2022, 10:41 am CST

A viral TikTok video allegedly shows how workers package single-use plastic cups, sparking debate over working conditions and cleanliness in the comments. 

“I thought cups were packaged by sanitize[d] machines, good to know,” Eric Mina (user @ericmagicmina) wrote via text overlay on the video.

Mina’s video shows several women crouched at the base of a large pile of plastic cups as they package plastic cups by hand. It received over 5.4 million views and thousands of comments.

Several users questioned whether or not this method of packing is sanitary.

“Yeah this just isn’t sanitary, that garbage company should provide a mask, hairnet and gloves at MINIMUM…. That’s a fact,” one user said.

“Nooo now I can’t unsee this!! These were the only thing I didn’t have to wash” another said. 

However, many others expressed concern for the workers’ well-being and pay rate.

“Ya worried bout the cups not being sanitized… ya don’t see the condition they working in… you kno they get paid less then 1$ to do this all day,” one user said.

“I’m not concerned about the germs, I’m concerned about how little they are probably making, while the company is prob making millions,” another said.

“That’s a job needed for them to feed their families, God bless all of them,” a third said.

Though, some users still emphasized the cleanliness issue in response. 

“Yeah but the point is they’re putting bare feet and hands on the cups people drink straight out [of] the package from,” one user responded. 

Many denied others’ concerns about sanitization of the cups. 

“I dont think bacteria survive that long anyways,” one user said.

“We’ve all been drinking from these cups forever and we’re still here, all healthy,” another said. 

Others doubted that the plastic cups would be any more sanitary if the cups had been packed by a machine.

“These comments. Like automated packing equipment instantly sanitizes things. … Some of y’all have never stepped foot in a factory,” one user said. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Mina via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jan 18, 2022, 8:48 am CST