How bad is the problem?
The number of coffee shops in the UK has risen by over 400% in under twenty years, with 20% of Britons now visiting a coffee shop daily.
Disposable coffee cups are made from paper and plastic lined, to make them waterproof. This dual layer makes them notoriously difficult to recycle, and only around 0.25% of them therefore are according to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.
Every year in the UK 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away, enough to reach around the world nearly six times over. Half a million are littered in the UK every day, further damaging the environment.
The alternatives to disposable coffee cups
Whether you use a more traditional flask or a reusable coffee cup, make and take a hot drink with you from home. With the average coffee costing £2.50, one a week will cost you £130 over a year while one five days a week will cost you £650. Considering a reusable alternative might come in at £10 – £20 there’s quite a financial (and environmental) saving to be made!
Take the time
Drink in instead of taking away. Find five minutes, take a breather from your ‘busy life’ and enjoy a seat. If you do this once a week, you’ll save on using 52 disposable cups (and of course, their lids) in a year. If you do this five days a week, that’s 260 reusable coffee cups not used.
Mix it up
Combine options one and two and carry your reusable flask or coffee cup with you, have it topped up in your local coffee shop and continue on your way. Again, you’ll save on reusable coffee cups and many coffee shops also offer a discount or extra loyalty card stamps for doing so.
Our 12 best reusable and eco-friendly coffee cups
- rCup – John Lewis – £12
- Huski coffee cup – Peace with the Wild – £10-12
- ecoffee Cup – ecoffee Cup – £10.95
- Stojo Collapsible Cup – John Lewis – £9.99
- Tefal travel mug – John Lewis £20
- S’ip by S’well coffee mug – Boots – £12.50
- Fosh social beaker – Fosh – £18
- Thermos stainless steel travel mug – Amazon – £23
- GoSip – The Plastic Free Shop – £10.00
- Bru coffee cup – Bru £16.99
- Pokito foldable cup – Pokito – £15
- Frank Green coffee cup – Frank Green – £21.99
Our verdict: The rCup comes out on top as it’s widely available at a great price, stylish, well priced, leak proof and made from 40% recycled coffee cups. Our top-rated collapsible coffee cup is from Stojo – simple and great value.
You can find us on Facebook by searching for Plastic Free Home or at http://www.facebook.com/plasticfreehomeuk.