According to Friends of the Earth, in the UK we’re throwing away more than 2.5 billion takeaway cups each year, with less than 0.25% of those cups – that’s just one in every four hundred being recycled. The majority end up in landfill, where plastic fails to degrade even over a period of centuries, and with four times as many coffee shops in the UK as there were twenty years ago, the problem shows no sign of slowing down.
With leading supermarket Waitrose instigating a complete ban on single-use takeaway cups, they estimate the UK will be lighter to the tune of 52 million disposable cups a year. Of course, they are still offering free coffee to those customers who take their own, and the shift in behaviour doesn’t end there. Take your reusable cup down to Pret and you’ll save 50p on hot drinks, while Starbucks, Paul, and Costa offer a 25p discount, even Greggs will give you 20p off your morning caffeine hit.
We spoke to Adam Hartshorne, coffee expert and BD Manager of Coffee Central for his take on the subject,
“99% of coffee cups in the UK are not recycled. After MPs proposed the latte levy, we have already witnessed a change in attitudes towards using disposable cups, but we still have a long way to go. Many high street coffee shops are now rewarding customers with financial incentives for bringing their own re-usable cups. Although the impact that this has is small so far, it’s all vital towards changing attitudes and raising awareness on the huge negative impact that disposable coffee cups have on the environment.”
So there really is no better time and frankly no excuse not to follow suit with the many consumers who have joined the reusable movement, and while the thought of outlaying on a new mug might seem like more unnecessary expense, you still want your coffee to taste good, stay hot for a reasonable length of time and all while helping to facilitate a significant change in our wastage habits and shifting from our previously perfunctory morning beverage routine.
Better still set that alarm a little bit earlier in the morning and save even more money by making your own, the benefits here are aplenty. With that in mind, we’ve picked out a range of rock-solid reusable mugs that will last a lifetime while servicing all your needs, whether your an active commuter, a busy parent balancing the little ones or a do-it-yourself home-brewer.
Klean Kanteen Insulated Tumbler – £21.95
This all-rounder from Klean Kanteen is a thing of beauty. Available in a range of sizes this vacuum insulated stainless steel cup is a coffee drinking commuters dream, keeping your morning beverage of choice hot for several hours, even without the lid. A minor downside could be the open mouth lid and the issue of spillage, however, we’re used to that scenario having been using disposable cups for so long. The major additional feature of this tumbler, especially during the recent heatwave is not only does it keep your drink hot for long periods it also keeps any cold beverages exactly that, perfect for iced coffee lovers (trust us that ice won’t melt) or even sinking some beers down the beach or on a weekend camping trip.
Lifeventure Flip-Top Thermal Mug – £15.99
Definitely one for the active man or woman the flip-top lifeventure mug is perfect for those heading out on a bike ride or hike in the mountains, it just oozes durability and resilience. The flip-top lid is a new feature from their usual standard screwtop and is what sets it apart, we found it comfortable and easy to drink from and our coffee remained piping hot even after a few hours. Of course, as with the other thermal options on the list, it also keeps cold beverages to the exact same temperature for long periods. Maybe not one for those who make the regular morning trip to the coffee shop, but certainly a great choice for those who make their own or lead an active lifestyle.
Stojo Collapsible Cup – £9.99
This stylish pocket-sized collapsible cup gets bonus points for being made from recycled materials offering a double whammy in the fight against waste. Made from four simple, dishwashable parts, the Stojo Collapsible Coffee Cup packs flat enough to fit in your pocket or backpack as the silicone body collapses cleverly inside the polypropylene lid when you don’t need it and is ideal for everyday use. It’s also completely leak proof (we thoroughly tested it) and thanks to its ingenious design, any dregs remaining simply stay where they are. Also a great gift, the fact that the Stojo doesn’t have any of the bad stuff like BPAs, phthalates, leads or glues, means it gets top marks from us.
Tefal Travel Mug – £12
Ideal for the travelling coffee connoiseur, or those long car journeys when only a caffeine hit can deafen the “are we nearly there yet” brigade. This is a serious piece of kit and whether you’d want to use it for your daily coffee shop trips or not, we’ll let you decide, but if a bonafide leakproof mug with 360-degree drinking edge is what you’re after then look no further. The lid contains a button that when open you can drink away from all sides and when closed there’ll be no spillage, absolutely none, we gave it a thorough going over. It’ll hold a standard coffee shop sized purchase and we found it suitable for daily use and as far as insulation goes it’ll keep your drinks equally hot or cold.
Rex London Bamboo Travel Mug – £9.95
Rex London have brought out a great range of reusable mugs for the coffee drinker on the go. One of the best features of these particular mugs are their serious eco credentials, being made using sustainable bamboo fibre and recyclable plastic. At 400ml it’s no slouch in the size stakes and the colourful designs will go some way to cheering up that usual dull commute, we’re favouring the ‘Le Bicycle’ hipster cyclist design but there are loads to choose from. If it’s eco-friendly refreshment you desire, you need look no further.
Judge Vacuum Travel Mug – £18
This slick silver travel mug from Judge is not to be messed with, as soon as you get this bad boy in your hand you know this one is built to last. Take your favourite hot or cold drink with you wherever you go and this travel mug will handily stay hot or cold for up to 6 long hours, this is due to its stainless steel double wall of top insulation. We’re also loving the convenient flip lid and best of all the leak-proof feature so no worries about spillage onto your laptop when you carry it in your bag. It’s 400ml, so plenty of room for the tallest of lattes, and it’s padded base means no more coffee stains on your paperwork. It even fits into all car cup holders, literally what more do you want?
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