Hunu makes silicone cups with optional attached straws (for iced teas and smoothies) to replace disposable cups that often have plastic lining, so can’t be recycled. Ideal for travel (most coffee shops give around 50p discount for reusable cups), don’t squeeze cup while holding (to avoid scalds) and hold rim while putting on the lid, or cup may collapse.
NHS says to avoid caffeine for heart problems, anxiety and insomnia. Drink no more than 1 mug of coffee daily (if any), if pregnant/nursing.
These cups are made from food-grade silicone. The 8oz cup folds down a disc that can be stashed in your pocket, bag or glovebox, so it’s easy to keep with you (the snug-resistant lid has a covered drinking hold to keep your bag or pocket dry and clean, after use).
Silicone is not biodegradable (it’s made from a blend of sand and fossil fuels), but it withholds temperatures very well, so does not break down into harmful microplastics. The lids are made from recycled plastic (which should last years) and the cups are sold in cardboard packaging (dishwasher-safe but hand-wash the silicone insulation band and remember to replace, after use).
Disposable cups are made from paper (trees!) and usually have a plastic inner lining and lid, so can’t be recycled. Sweet liquids left as litter can harm pets and wildlife, and disposed coffee cups that fall down storm drains go to the sea, where they break into microplastics, which harm marine wildlife. Nought Bamboo Coffee Cup is made from bamboo fibre (not the type pandas eat), with a food-grade silicone lid, to keep your hands cool. Dishwasher-safe, but do not use in the microwave.
Avoid caffeine for heart problems, anxiety and insomnia (check with GP if on medication). NHS recommends pregnant/nursing women drink no more than 200g of caffeine daily (1 mug of filter coffee). Or give it up completely at this time. Nobody should drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day!
Most coffee shops now give discounts if you bring your own cup (it saves them money). If you are choosing a cup for yourself, find a good brand that is dishwasher-safe and has a silicone sleeve to keep your hands cool, and drinks warm. Most are designed to fit barista machines, and some even have a space to write your name and coffee preference, for regular visits.
Industrial bamboo is not the same as fresh bamboo shoots eaten by pandas. The world’s fastest-growing grass (you can actually see it grow with your own eyes), its downsides are that it’s not local and to dry it after use (otherwise it may biodegrade away!)
Yuggen Coffee Cup (in mint or black) features a cork band to keep your drinks cool. Cork is a natural material that does not require trees to be chopped down, so supporting it in a land of plastic wine corks, helps to keep the cork industry alive, and protects forests and wildlife in the Mediterranean. Do not handle glass with wet hands (this is a toughened glass, a bit like Pyrex dishes).
WAKEcup Reusable Travel Mug is made from bamboo and stainless steel. It has a secure lid and double lining. The Thermos bottle holds 500ml of tea or coffee (kept hot for 10 hours or keeps drinks cold for 48 hours).
Circular & Co (Cornwall) is a company that designed the world’s first leakproof reusable coffee cup – made from old disposable coffee cups! This is an award-winning circular design practice based on the north coast (a short walk from the sea) so was inspired to keep plastic waste out of it. Created to ‘make products differently’ using a closed loop design, the team includes a former designers for Dyson, a photonics specialist (he helped form the shell of the cup) and a project engineer).
A Great Returnable Coffee Cup Idea
However, in these budget-friendly times, many people can’t afford to buy a reusable coffee cup, and indie coffee shops may not be able to afford to buy (or lose) them in bulk. Again Again (NZ) is a wonderful idea that we could do with here. The company buys stainless steel reusable cups in bulk, then the shops loan them out to customers who don’t have one or forget them. Built on trust that the customers will return them – the goodie here is that if the odd cup or two does not come back, the wholesale discounts that the company gets, means they take on the financial loss, rather than the indie coffee shop.
Pokito Pop-Up Travel Cup is made from synthetic rubber, and can hold up to 475ml of hot or cold drinks, and then scrunches down in your bag, briefcase or glove compartments. It expands into three sizes (grande, medio or espresso) and a great alternative to throwaway cups. It’s also very stable and easy to use, with no fiddly fixings or attachments. Just pop up the cup to enjoy your drink.
Qwetch Insulated Travel Cup is ideal lightweight and durable, to keep a medium or large coffee hot for up to 6 hours, or iced coffee (or other drinks) cold for up to 12 hours. The screw top lid has a flip-up cover for the drinking hole, which snaps shut when not in use. Inside the lid is stainless steel, so you don’t come into contact with plastic, when drinking. Do not drink hot liquids from wide-mouth cups, to prevent burns.
After use, hand wash in warm soapy water, then store with the lid removed. The lid is made from BPA-free plastic with a silicone seal, but should last years. Reusable bottles are far better for the planet, as single-use cups and bottles break down into millions of microplastics after use, which can harm our seas, rivers, streams and cause accidental ingestion to marine wildlife. Sold in a smaller size. Choose from four designs (brushed steel, blue, raspberry or arty).