A discarded coffee cup lies on the curb with the remnants of the drink spilling out

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

Since the 5p charge, we’ve reduced plastic bag use in England by a massive 85%. Let's get a charge on coffee cups too.
  Published:  30 Jan 2018    |      3 minute read

Around 2.5 billion coffee cups end up in landfill every year. They increase our plastic waste, creating an unnecessary strain on the environment.

Coffee shops can help end this mess by giving discounts to people who bring their own cup. Pret a Manger has recently doubled its discount to 50p off the usual price. This means, if you buy one coffee a day, you'll be saving £3.50 a week – about £180 a year.

So what are the best reusable coffee cups on the market? Friends of the Earth staff have reviewed 4 of them.

4 Friends of the Earth staff members posing with the reusable coffee mugs they have reviewed


Ecoffee Cup

Reviewed by waste campaigner Henry (second from right)

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 it’s made of bamboo. It looks just like a normal coffee cup and at 14oz (400ml) 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 aftertaste, just the taste of coffee.”  

Ecoffee Cups are dishwasher-safe and BPA-free. The one we trialled is £10.95. Over 100 cups are available, in different designs and sizes from 8oz (250ml) to 16oz (475ml).

JOCO cup

JOCO coffee cup

Reviewed by individual giving team leader Kathryn (second from left)

“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 so the cup may not be 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 $29.95. Cups are available in a variety of different designs and sizes from 4oz (125ml) to 16oz (475ml). UK stockists are searchable on the JOCO website.


KeepCup coffee cup

Reviewed by John from our technology solutions team (far left)

“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, and are BPA and BPS-free. They are dishwasher-safe (top shelf). The one we trialled costs £10. Cups are available in a variety of different designs and sizes from 4oz (125ml) to 16oz (475ml). The UK online store and UK stockists are available on the KeepCup website.

Frank Green SmartCup

Green SmartCup coffee cup

Reviewed by Lucie from our activism team (far right)

“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. I also feel very cool holding it.

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, but I’m not sure about it being made of plastic – it would be nicer if it was really thin glass.”  

Frank Green SmartCups are dishwasher-safe, BPA-free and non-toxic. They are available in two different sizes - 8oz (230ml) and 12oz (340ml). The one we tried cost £19.99.

We're pushing for a ban on disposable cups that can’t be recycled. Please sign our petition now.