8 Easy Tricks to Ensure You Stop Using Disposable Coffee Cups
Updated: Jan 29
In 2018, the BBC said that Britain throws away 2.5 Billion disposable coffee cups annually.
And, as many of you will know, almost none of these cups are recycled. According to The
Independent, in fact, 96% aren’t. They come with a plastic interior lining that means, despite
largely being comprised of cardboard, they are very difficult to recycle.
As a country, we are beginning to care more and more about being sustainable. For many of us, that means small changes - everyday changes - that will have an incremental effect.
Reducing how many disposable coffee cups we each use is a small change that can make a big difference. We all know that. The problem is that life gets in the way. Some days we’re too busy to find our bring-it-from-home cups. On others, we simply forget.
At Jack Nadel International, merchandising may be our business but our planet’s health puts the importance of business into perspective. So, to help you help yourself, and our planet, we’ve compiled this step-by-step guide that’ll help you ensure 2019 was the last time you used a disposable cup.
1. Before you buy yourself a reusable coffee cup, there are a number of considerations you should make. So, the first step is: do your research. Reusable cups come in all shapes and sizes and are designed for a variety of purposes. You get some that fold up small, some that are designed to keep your coffee warm all day and others that incorporate fancy clips and tags so you can strap them to your bag or bicycle.
Choose one you’ll actually want to drink from, one that’s easy to clean and not a burden to carry. Remember that you’re buying this for sustainability’s sake. If you don’t like what you’ve bought and keep replacing it with a better model then you might as well keep using disposable cups.
2. Buy your reusable coffee cup. After you have done the research, you will have discovered that there is a huge variety of different reusable coffee cups out there. While you’re at it, you might as well buy one that’s sourced from sustainable materials.
3. Incorporate your coffee into your day plan (as if it wasn’t already). Remember to wash your cup up with your dishes at the end of your day. Mid-morning, last-minute scrambles to get to work won’t gel with your desire to be green. Make grabbing your cup the easiest thing in the world.
4. Keep it in your bag, next to your keys or by your front door. Changing our habits is never easy. Especially when those habits have been crafted by an economic system that glorifies convenience. If we want to limit how many disposable cups we use, we have to put some work in. That means coming home from work, cleaning the reusable cup and putting it somewhere we’ll remember it in the morning.
5. Buy your coffee at places that will reward your drive to be more sustainable. If you shop at Waitrose regularly and buy yourself a coffee while doing so, you’ll know that they no longer give out disposable cups. Other brands, such as Starbucks and Pret, offer you a discount if you bring your cup from home. Certain smaller, independent café’s do the same. Shop at these stores and you’ll feel as if your decision to go green with your caffeine is vindicated every day.
6. Stylise your cup. Lugging around your reusable cup doesn’t have to be a ball-and-chain style chore. If you’ve chosen the right design for your day-to-day coffee routine, and it fits nicely into your bag or is easy to carry, then cover it in stickers or paint it something exciting. That way you’ll feel happy drinking out of it.
7. Encourage one another. Preachy do-gooders are the worst and their advice often makes us want to do the opposite. But if you and your friends care about keeping the world clean then a quiet, subtle word of encouragement here and there can really cement good habits.
8. Remember the little things. Every time you remember your cup should be a minor victory, a stat in the corner of your personal fight to make the world a better place. And, if that’s not enough, think about the coffee your drinking. Yours, in its thermodynamic cup built of the swankiest materials, is bound to taste far better than the rapidly cooling liquid in the cardboard case.