Let’s end coffee cup waste. Which is the best reusable coffee cup?

Sarah Marzouk

05 November 2016

In the year since the 5p charge came into being, we’ve reduced plastic bag use in England by a massive 85%. Let's do it for coffee cups too.

Around 2.5 billion coffee cups end up in landfill every year.

By pushing for chains to offer a discount if people bring their own cup, consumers are rewarded, and waste is reduced. To that end, why can we not ban all coffee cups that can’t be recycled?

Thousands of you signed our petition to end coffee cup waste. We then asked you what the next steps of the campaign should be.

You said we should target the coffee chains and you wanted to find out more about buying reusable coffee cups. We’ve already met with a major coffee chain to see how we can work together.

Now, so you don’t have to, Friends of the Earth staff have reviewed four reusable coffee cups (others are, of course, available)!

Ecoffee Cup
Ecoffee Cup

Henry (second from right), waste campaigner, drank a cappuccino from an Ecoffee Cup:

“I think the best solution to this problem would be for the disposable cups you get in coffee chains to be recyclable. However, until then, this a good alternative. It’s not at all heavy and I like that’s made of bamboo. It looks just like a normal coffee cup and at 14oz it’s bigger than the others we tested today.  

“The pattern is not really my thing, but there are others available. I know you can get ones with a stopper on the top too. I’m still not sure if I’d put it in my bag with a laptop after I’d finished my coffee though!

“Generally, it does the job, it’s good value for money and there’s no after taste, just the taste of coffee!”  

Ecoffee Cups are dishwasher safe and BPA free. The one we trialled is £7.00 and available on the Friends of the Earth online shop


Kathryn (second from left), Individual Giving team leader, drank a flat white from a 12oz JOCO cup:

“It feels nice to hold, the rubber ring around the cup is nice to grip. It feels sturdy, good quality and it looks good.

“The lid isn’t fully sealable though and so maybe not that secure to carry around once I’d finished my coffee. I’d be worried about getting dribbles of flat white in my bag! It’s nice that you can see the coffee in the cup though. And the lid fits on the glass quite snugly.

“The lid smells of plastic a bit, but maybe that’s because it’s new. It doesn’t affect the taste of the coffee at all.

“It’s nice to drink from because it’s glass but it’s also a lot heavier than the others. I’d be slightly worried about dropping it on my way to get my coffee if I wasn’t quite awake yet!

“I like the cup, but the cost is slightly prohibitive. I’d only pay £20 if it ticked all the boxes.”

JOCO cups are dishwasher safe, BPA free and made from non-porous borosilicate glass. From the JOCO online shop, they cost $24.95. UK stockists are searchable on the JOCO website.


John (far left) from Technology Solutions drank a flat white from a 12oz KeepCup:

“I like the tactile grip, I’m definitely not going to drop it! The stopper on the top is quite good to prevent it leaking. Weight is definitely not an issue with this cup either, it’s very light.

“With some of the other cups the lids haven’t felt that secure, but this one feels very tight. The taste is also great, no plasticy smell or taste at all.

“I normally have about two cups of coffee a day and I do feel bad about the waste issue.

“The problem is carrying a cup around with me, I never usually plan to buy a coffee, so it would also be good to have cups in coffee chains that were recyclable.”

KeepCups are made from lightweight plastic, non-toxic polypropylene, BPA and BPS free. They are dishwasher safe (top shelf). The one we trialled costs £10. The UK online store and UK stockists are available on the KeepCup website.

Frank Green SmartCup
Frank Green SmartCup

Lucie (far right), from the activism team, had a soya latte from a 12oz Frank Green SmartCup:

“I really like the look of the cup, I actually like that it doesn’t look like a coffee cup. I like the screw lid too as it feels really secure. You can turn it upside down and it doesn’t leak.

“The button you push down in the middle to drink the coffee is cool too, but I’d be slightly worried that it might break or get stuck. It might make it more difficult to clean too.

“It’s definitely not too heavy, buy I’m not sure about it being made of plastic – it would be nicer if it was really thin glass.

“I also feel very cool holding it! It’s annoying that the CafePay option doesn’t work in the UK, they need to bring it over here! I think the price is pretty fair though.”  

Frank Green SmartCups are dishwasher safe, BPA free and non-toxic. The one we tried cost £17.99. Online shop and stockists across the country.

Let us know what your favourite reusable cups are!

If you want to help us end coffee cup waste, there’s still time to sign the petition. 

Let's end coffee cup waste

First published on 10 October 2016

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Coffee cups review