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Alternatives to disposable coffee cups

Would you like to save up to 50p every time you purchased a takeaway coffee?

Earlier this year, the UK Environmental Audit Committee set out a strategy for dealing with the waste that results from our love of takeaway coffee. Those harmless looking cardboard cups are actually lined with polyethylene so that they don’t leak. It’s scary to see the damage being caused to our beautiful planet and I think it’s important for us all to do our bit to protect it for future generations. I thought it was time therefore to look at alternatives to disposable cups.

There have been calls for the Government to introduce a tax (often called the “latte levy”) on coffee shops who use these disposable cups to help fund the recycling of the cups. The biggest issue is that these disposable cups cannot be recycled in standard recycling plants – and as we currently use 7 million disposable coffee cups EVERY DAY in the UK (yes, just the UK!) – it’s a huge task to recycle them all.

The most obvious option is a travel mug – I’m often seen carrying mine around with me (especially whilst attending after school events/clubs). I usually make my own drink in my travel mug before heading out – but when I’m out it’s easy to get my take away coffee popped into my mug instead of a disposable cup. Not only is this doing my bit for the environment but it can save me up to 50p a drink (Pret-a-Mange currently offer a 50p discount if you use your own cup!). I’m even advertising my business while I’m at it. That seems like a win/win for me!

My favourite travel mug is the Contigo West Loop Travel Mug – (see photo below of it in use!) it’s a premium travel mug, but wow is it worth it! It keeps drinks warm for much longer than the disposable cups as it is double walled and vacuum insulated (keeping hot drinks really hot for about 4 hours). As you’d expect, I’ve got a travel mug branded with my own business details – and this is something that you might want to consider – if you want to encourage your staff, clients or suppliers to use less disposable cups (whilst they’re promoting your business – another win!)

Chilli Contigo Mug

Chilli Contigo Mug

If you prefer something with a little less expensive, there are various options available – maybe something from the Americano range which are made in the UK in a zero to landfill factory (the waste from making these actually ends up in the middle of a mousemat).
The Americano range includes the standard Americano travel mug, then two smaller options and the Americano Grande which includes a handle.

The Argyle is a new product for 2018 which is styled to look like a can of pop! It has a handy flip lid which seals the mug when it’s not in use. It’s double walled and keeps drinks hot for longer than the average travel mug – we’ve had great feedback so far!

Obviously, there is another option – and that’s not to get a takeaway at all – spend some time sat inside the coffee house – preferably with a friend, or family member and make the most of the time you have to enjoy their company – and then leave the china/porcelain cup/mug for the staff to wash and reuse without the need for any waste at all.

If you are using a takeaway travel cup you can save 50p at Pret-a-Manger, 25p at Costa and Starbucks and 20p at Greggs! (correct at time of going to press!)

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