As a population we drink a lot of coffee which means that in the UK alone we go use and throw away a staggering 2.5 billion takeaway each year1.

The problem is that these billions of cups are not at all easy to recycle as they contain a plastic lining and with less than 1% actually making it to be recycled1 we have started to see a number of coffee chains listening to public opinion and launching their own in-house recycling schemes for their cups.

But even with these schemes most takeaway cups will never get recycled. The logistics alone to get all these cups to specialist recycling plants makes it very difficult.

Reusable cups are growing in popularity but in comparison to plastic bags or straws there doesn’t seem to be quite the same push for change – especially for cold drink options – even with many coffee shops will give you a discount if you bring your own reusable cup.

Does it really help the environment to use a reusable coffee cup?

It takes between 20 and 100 uses for a reusable cup to match the carbon footprint of a takeaway cup2. There a huge choice in style, material and design when it comes to choosing what you need, and not all reusable cups are equal when it comes to their ecological credentials.

The increased demand for reusable cups has given business owners an opportunity to promote their companies. Namely, giving away printed eco-friendly items is an excellent way for a brand to stand out.

Branded reusable cups can help establish your company as sustainable and green, attracting new audiences and demographics in the process. Plus, you can show your customers that you have integrity and put the well-being of others first. Nowadays, a lot of people are more likely to choose brands that align with their values.

Plus, from a marketing standpoint coffee cups are items that people use just about every day. They take them to work, when they are running errands, or just taking a leisure walk around town making them prime billboard real estate for your brand! If you give customers a cup that they will love, people will be taking your logo with them everywhere they go.

So how can you start promoting using reusable cups in your store?

  • Offering discounts to customers who use reusable cups.
  • Selling seasonal and limited edition designed cups to encourage people to invest in a reusable cup.
  • Including a rinsing station in store so people can rinse out their cups when they are finished.
  • Offer double loyalty points as part of your loyalty program to people using reusable cups.

Do you already offer reusable cups as part of your business? Do you have a creative way to encourage customers to use a reusable cup? Tag us on Instagram and let us know! @beyond.the.bean

1 House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Disposable Packaging: Coffee Cups Report 2018

2 Life-cycle assessment by The International Reference Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes, and Services