Unless you’ve been forgoing your morning coffee of late, you’ll be already be aware that plastic is no longer considered fantastic. Coffee chains up and down the country are clamping down on plastic waste and, just last week, the government confirmed that single-use plastics — from drinking straws to cotton buds — will be banned in under a year’s time.
According to a statement from environmental officials, over 100,000 sea mammals and one million birds are killed as a result of plastic pollution every single year. The amount of plastic in our oceans – currently standing at 150 million metric tons – is also expected to treble by 2025.
So it makes sense to cut down. But, even if you never sip through a straw and always take a canvas tote to the shops, we’d bet good money on the last latte you drank being bought in a plastic-lined paper cup. And recyclable, they are not.
So if you’re in the market to help the planet, why not buy your own reusable, recycled coffee cup? We’ve rounded up our favourites below so you too can add a shot of sustainability into your morning brew.
For the style-conscious commuter: Frank Green Stainless Steel Reusable Cup
As sleek as it looks, we don’t know whether to drink coffee from this cup or ask it to play Elton’s Greatest Hits. Stylish, designed to be ergonomic and bearing more than a slight resemblance to everyone’s favourite home speaker, Frank Green’s cups are also fully customisable to suit your own look.
And as for rivalling the office Alexa, these cups will soon be bringing even more handy tech to our shores. Currently only available in Australia, Frank Green cups have in-built chips that pair with your payment card and can pay for your next cappuccino with contactless.
For the spill-prone professional: rCUP Reusable Coffee Cup
Here’s a cup with plenty of perks. The rCup is the world’s first reusable cup made from paper coffee cups itself; it has a minimalist, no-nonsense design and is so leakproof that no amount of shaky caffeine-withdrawal behaviour will spill your precious flat white.
What’s more, it’s designed without a little drinking hole. Instead, it opens like a normal mug to offer a ‘360 degree drinking experience’. So, when you’re sufficiently energised, just screw on the lid, throw it back into your bag — and your paperbacks will be 100 per cent protected from spillage.
For the businessman who knows his beans: KeepCup Espresso Medium
KeepCup may not have the most inspired name, but ‘the original barista-standard reusable cup’ has grown its range almost as quickly as it has its business. You can now buy KeepCups in all manner of shapes, sizes and materials, can print your own design and can order replacement parts should you happen to misplace your silicone band (we’ve all been there).
But let’s be honest — no-one with their style credentials in check should be rocking the DayGlo KeepCup. Instead, stick with the classic glass-and-cork number. Highly recyclable, well-insulated and without risk of adding a silicon tang to your morning cup, this is the right choice for bean buffs.
For adventurers with a taste for Americanos: S'well Marble Traveller Bottle
With a product description that reads like a supercar, S’Well’s stylish Traveler bottle is designed for the more adventurous amongst us. Made from stainless steel, it features triple-walled, vacuum-insulated construction to keep drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24.
What’s more, its copper wall layer keeps the outside of the bottle condensation-free, and that ergonomic grip means you needn’t worry about keeping a handle on it. Fill it with water, coffee, or rocket fuel; it’ll keep you going, wherever you may end up…
For the charitable coffee drinker: WAKEcup Coffee Cup
Getting a stamp on your loyalty card may bring a smile to your face, but saving the oceans should slap a grin on anyone’s mug. Thank caffeine, then, for WAKEcup. This eco-brand have teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society for a limited edition cup — crafted from farmed bamboo, and with ten per cent of its profits going straight to the charity.
So what’s the catch? Does it fall apart in seconds? Far from it. Although the bamboo means you’ll want to wash this by hand, the combination of the organic material and stainless steel lining means it will retain temperature without burning your hands. And the retro, rustic look has a hint of Scandi chic about it.
For the man who packs light: STOJO Brooklyn Collapsible Travel Mug
If you’re a frequent flier who is partial to a mile-high coffee or five, this clever cup will be a welcome addition to your hand luggage. It’s totally collapsible (the body concertinas up into the lid), surprisingly leakproof and has a stripped-back, utilitarian look to it.
Of course, in order for it to be collapsible, it needs to be made from squishier stuff. And, while the silicone style may not be for everyone, if you’re a light-packer and you like your coffee, it most certainly delivers.
And because it’s what’s inside that counts, read up on the best coffee beans to get your through the daily grind…