Sustainability is the word on everyone's lips, however, we seem to forget about our environmental concerns as soon as we need our coffee fix. We plough through 2.5 billion of takeaway cups every year in the UK alone and less than 1% of those are recycled.
Consumer behaviour must change and using reusable over recyclable cups seems to be the best way to tackle this issue. To make the transition easier, we have selected the best eco-friendly and reusable coffee cups on the market.
The KeepCup: the original reusable cup
It started over ten years ago in a Melbourne café with a simple idea: keep it and use it again. Coffee shop owners Jamie and Abigail Forsyth concerns were growing as they were witnessing the volume of disposable cups being consumed.
In 2007, following unsuccessful trials of existing reusable cups, they decided to create their own: the KeepCup. Made of glass, it is designed by baristas for baristas and allows people to enjoy better and waste-free coffee on the go. “In 2009 we created the solution to a problem,” say the founders. “In 2019 we are leading the charge to ensure the world no longer needs, wants or uses disposable coffee cups.”
Today, KeepCups are used in more than 65 countries around the world. Its users divert millions of disposable cups from landfill every day, and through their actions, inspire others to do the same.
The KeepCup come in six different sizes and can be entirely customized - from the band and lid to the plug - allowing you to do your part for the environment with a very unique and personalised cup.
The rCUP: the world’s first reusable coffee cup made from used paper cups
Cornwall-based Ashortwalk is the award-winning design company behind the rCUP. Led by former Dyson designer and inventor Dan Dicker, Ashortwalk was founded from a desire to create meaningful products from recycled materials, a short walk from the sea.
Their most recent brainchild is the rCup, the world’s first reusable coffee cup and travel mug made from recycled paper coffee cups.
They work with Simply cups, who collect the paper cups which are then turned into the reusable Rcup - a proof that global waste can be tackled through collaboration.
A cup that is made from waste, helps recycle waste and reduces waste. “Our cup is the only one that is made from the single use cups that are still being used in coffee shops and cafes every day,” say the founders.
In addition to being 100% leak proof, the rCUP is fully insulated and can keep your coffee warm for about an hour and a half.
The rCUP comes in two sizes, 8 and 12 oz and in a wide selection of colours, from mustard, green and teal. Its 360-degree drinking experience for full aroma and push open - push close lid will become your best allies while on the go.
The Huskup: the reusable cup made from rice husk, not plastic
Here’s a way to do coffee, but better. This functional, beautiful and reusable cup uses an abundant waste material - rice husk. UK-based Huskup is made from the outer shell of a grain of rice, so it’s a natural byproduct of rice milling.
Rice husk - a natural and robust material that would otherwise be burnt at the mill - is strong, high in silica and has short tough fibres that are naturally resistant to moisture, making the cup plastic and toxin free.
Melamine and BPA free, the Huskup can last for years if treated well and will simply biodegrade at the end of its life. From earth to earth.
The Huskup comes in 12 original designs and various colour combinations. Huskup will soon be launching four original Harry Potter cups starting at £11.95.
The Ecoffee cup: the cup made of organic bamboo fibre
Brighton-based Ecoffee cup created a reusable takeaway cup made with naturally organic, bamboo fibre and non-GMO corn starch.
David McLagan, founded Ecoffee Cup in Brighton in 2014 after learning that single-use cups were not being recycled and that billions of them were ending up in landfill each year.
Made with natural bamboo fibre, the Ecoffee Cup is BPA and phthalate free and can last for years if treated nicely. Once it has reached its end of life, it can be simply crushed, soaked in boiling water and buried with organic compost. Ecoffee Cup is currently working on making the food grade silicone lid and sleeve biodegradable too.
The cup comes in four different sizes and in dozens of colourful patterns. The Ecoffee cup is also available in over 20 countries.
The Weducer: the cup made from recycled coffee grounds
Berlin-based Kaffeeform came up with an innovative and sustainable material using recycled coffee grounds and renewable raw materials to create the reusable cup made of coffee.
German designer Julian Lechner is behind the brand which combines used coffee grounds with natural glues like biopolymers to create a robust and heat resistant new material. As a coffee cup, it comes in perfect shape.
Their range includes the award-winning Weducer take-away cup as well as cups in different sizes for espresso, cappuccino and latte coffee.
Durable, light weight, recyclable, and with a mild smell of coffee, the weducer cup is made in Germany since 2015.
Words: Charlaine Grosse-Lopez