I was unaware until recently that over 500 million coffee cups are disposed each year in the UK. That’s why ethical fashion and gift retailer Arte Ideas sell the Keep Cup - the first barista standard reusable cup and the number one choice for sustainable coffee consumption.
I was also unaware that most disposable cups are not recyclable as they are made from a composite of materials such as bleached paper sprayed with a polyethylene coating. They are often impregnated with toxic dyes and have a plastic lining which also makes recycling a problem. This can result in a biodegradation process of 50 years or more. It’s not just the cup and lid that go into landfill. On average, each disposable cup contains 5% of the raw materials involved in the process of making and delivering it.
A few facts about the Keep Cup:
Keep Cups are made from plastic so they are lightweight, easy to carry and have low embodied energy in manufacture. They are BPA free and non-toxic and have an expected lifespan of four years.
They are barista standard as they replicate standard takeaway sizes and fit under the group heads of most espresso machines so that your coffee is made in your Keep Cup.
Keep Cups are lightweight, dishwasher safe, microwaveable and splash proof. Keep Cups fit into most car cup holders and many bicycle bottle holders.
There is enough plastic in 28 disposable cups and lids to make one Keep Cup.
I can’t fault the product at all. It’s sturdy, light, very well made and easy to drink out of. It has a small rubber band around its middle making it easy to hold while the contents are hot, and the idea is that you choose mark the type of drink you want on the cup then hand it over to the barista.
However, for it to make an impact on the number of coffee cups thrown away it has to be used for takeaway coffee and I very much doubt that my local branch of Costa Coffee or rivals Starbucks would take too kindly to being given a cup that is not branded with their own logo.
What I think they should do is create their own version or strike a deal with the manufacturers to produce one featuring their own branding, then knock 10p off a cup of coffee for anyone who uses it. The Keep Cup is priced at £8.95 so over the course of a few months you could easily cover the cost.
What would certainly work would be for companies to issue them to their employees rather than stocking disposable cups on their premises.
Now I just need to tackle the issue of fairtrade coffee, because it would be great if it was used in all coffee shops and office premises throughout the UK. This could take a while.
The Keep Cup is available from Arte Ideas priced £8.95 and is available in purple, fushia, turquoise and lime. I received the product free of charge to review.