Making the Switch from Disposable to Reusable Coffee Cups

With MPs calling for a 25p “latte levy” on disposable cups - and a total ban unless recycling improves. Now many coffee shops offering a discount for the use of reusable coffee cups, which is a great thing, as the disposable cup problem definitely needs sorting.

You’re probably already well aware of what the problem is with disposable cups, but in case you’re not – basically, although many of them may show a recycling image on them, around 99% of disposable cups aren’t recycled due to specialist recycling plants needing to process this kind of cup, of which there are only three in the UK.

So they end up in landfill, and they also end up in the oceans, and that’s bad. In fact according to some articles, 10-20 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, which breaks down to 5.25 trillion or so plastic particles – so, actually, say this is bad is probably just a slight understatement!

Switching from disposable to reusable coffee cups won’t instantly solve this problem of course, but with the UK alone chucking away around two and a quarter billion disposable cups each year, it’s probably one of the most obvious areas to focus on, after disposable plastic bags.

By the way, in case you’re wondering which coffee shops are currently offering a discount for taking a reusable coffee cup, at the time of writing Pret are offering 50p off, Costa & Starbucks 25p, Caffe Nero: double loyalty stamps, Greggs are offering 20p, and there are many independent coffee shops all over the country offering discounts.

Some are even stopping offering disposable cups entirely. Grindsmith in Manchester and Boston Tea Party in Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon, for example, has gone completely disposable cup free. And if you don’t bring a reusable – the only option is to drink in.

Were not entirely sure what’s going to happen with this levy thing, but this discount acts as a levy anyway, if more cafe’s are doing the same, whether it’s a discount for people using reusable cups, or a levy for people who aren’t, the same is true in that if you want a take away coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate, whatever floats your boat) in many cafes it’ll cost you more than if you’d have gone in with your own reusable cup.

It is exciting to live if a generation where we are conscious of our lifestyle choices so let’s do good, feel good and look fabulous while doing it.