Human beings love coffee.
For many, it’s seen as a survival tool – that morning latte on the way to the station is as reviving as a slap around the face with cold water.
But those takeaway coffee cups aren’t recyclable, which was news that came as a shock to many of us.
The UK throws away around 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups a year, and almost all of these are incinerated, exported or sent to landfill, because their plastic lining makes them expensive to recycle.
Some coffee shops have started offering customers a discount to encourage them to bring their own reusable cup, but the government says customers are more responsive to charges rather than discounts, so are proposing a ‘latte levy‘.
This would mean being charged 25p extra each time you don’t use a reusable coffee cup.
Never fear though, you’ve got plenty of time to change your ways and invest in a fancy new coffee cup – for your bank balance and for the planet.
Here’s some inspiration – and we’ve also included a guide to which size to buy, at the end of the piece.
1. Collapsible reusable coffee cup, Stojo, RRP £9.99
One of the problems with reusable cups is that they can be a bit bulky to carry around.
If you’re not keen on carrying a regular cup about, then how about the Stojo? The cup is collapsible, making it super portable and compact.
The heat sleeve provides rigidity when the cup is expanded, so you needn’t worry about coffee sloshing all over your crotch.
It comes in just the one size – 12oz / 355ml.
2. Glass reusable coffee cup, KeepCup, from £7
These KeepCups are made from durable glass,and come in all sorts of sizes from 4oz (118ml) for your mouthfuls of espresso, to 16oz (454ml) for your bucket of filter coffee.
You can also get a LongPlay KeepCup (the tall one on the right) which has a removable tritan booster. ‘A what?’ we hear you cry.
Well, it turns the KeepCup into a twin-walled vessel, which makes it more durable, keeps the drink warmer for longer and insulates your hand from heat.
(It does the opposite for cold drinks – fantastic news.)
3. Bamboo reusable coffee cup, Ecoffee Cup, from £7.95
Made from sustainable bamboo, these cups won’t leave you with a plasticky taste in your drink.
They come in plain colours or cool designs, like the limited edition William Morris one above. So. Chic.
These beauts come in sizes 250ml, 340ml and 400ml.
4. BYOCup, Onya, £9.95
Made from food-grade silicone, this cup is for those who want their reusable cup to closely resemble a disposable cup.
That brown one’s a pretty good replica.
Holds 340ml of your favourite hot beverage.
5. Vacuum travel mug, Bodum, from £20
A stainless steel travel mug with a rubber sleeve that comes in various colours.
It’s double-walled for insulation, so will keep your beverage as hot as you.
Available in 12oz (354ml).
6. Cambridge panda travel cup, Amazon, £7.99
Use this cute little cup as a vessel to take your fave beverage from the coffee shop back to your office.
The panda’s face will brighten up your day.
Holds 12oz (354ml).
7. Glass reusable coffee cup, Joco, from £19.99
These are made from borosilicate glass – the same glass Pyrex is made from, meaning it’s lightweight but strong.
Plus, they look cute and come in a range of colours.
Available in 8oz (236ml), 12oz (354ml) and 16oz (473ml).
8. Contigo leak-proof travel mug, Amazon, from £19.99
This bad boy is more of a flask, so perfect for flinging in your bag while running for the train.
It’s 100% leak-proof and automatically seals between sips to prevent spillage, which is pretty cool.
Great for all you clumsies out there. Oh, and it keeps hot drinks hot for three hours.
This one’s 10oz (300ml) but a larger one is available.
9. Polar Gear travel mug, Wilko, £6
This is one for those who like to keep it simple, and who just want an inconspicuous, not-at-all fancy little travel mug.
This tumbler opens and closes with a press button in the cap, and this fits in most car drinks holders.
Which size cup should I buy?
The cup size you need all depends on which size drink you normally buy at the coffee shop.
As a guide, here are the major chains’ coffee sizes.
Short – 8oz / 236ml
Tall – 12 oz / 354ml
Grande – 16oz / 473ml
Venti – 20oz / 591ml
Starbucks offers a 25p discount on hot drinks when you use your own cup (excludes filter coffee).
Flat white – 8oz / 236 ml
All other drinks – 12 oz / 354 ml
Pret offers a 50p discount on hot drinks when you use your own cup.
Small – 8oz / 236ml
Regular – 12oz / 354ml
Large – 16oz / 473ml
Caffe Nero offers double loyalty card stamps when you use your own cup.
Primo – 12 oz / 340ml
Media – 16 oz / 454ml
Massimo – 20 oz / 568ml
Costa offers a 25p discount on hot drinks when you use your own cup.