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Reusable vs Disposable Coffee Cups

Aussies love a cuppa. We love overpriced takeaway coffee, instant coffee and even the good old fashioned percolated coffee you’re sure to get when you visit Nan. We consume so much each year that our choice of drinking vessel can often be an important topic of debate. The team at FitMyCar love a cuppa, and we decided to dig a little deeper into just how important (and necessary the reusable cup is). It’s no secret that in recent years the reusable cup has become incredibly popular with urban consumers. Many see them as little more than fashion accessories, but truthfully they play an important part in reducing our carbon footprint. They offer many other benefits to their users too, making their experience easier and more enjoyable.

Why Reuse?

You know those 11 paper coffee cups you’ve gone through in the past 3 days? Well even though you’ve made sure to put them in the recycling bin, it turns out they might not be so recyclable after all. A study by the Sunday Times found that only around 1 in every 400 disposable cups can be correctly recycled due to the plastic lining inside them. In fact, it takes on average 100 years for this plastic to completely break down. The result is over 7,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from Aussies alone. To make matters worse, around 720,000 trees are cut down in our country each year solely to produce the 1 billion disposable cups we require.

After reading these statistics it starts to make sense why there has been such a push in recent times to replace the use of disposable cups with reusable ones. While it can be argued that it requires more energy and at times more resources to produce a reusable cup, it will more than make up for that impact with all the unnecessary waste it will prevent. The benefits don’t stop here though, and a reusable cup will often leave you with more than just a clear conscience.

The Taste

Let’s start with an important one. The material in your cup can often ‘leach’ flavour, resulting in a slightly soured taste depending on what cup you’re using. The plastic lining in reusable cups is often the worst offender, while materials common to reusable cups such as silicone and tritan plastic have little to no impact at all. Depending on the amount of coffee you consume can certainly affect how obvious this one will be, but if you’re a latte-lover or a mocha-maniac, the last thing you want is your morning cup to be ruined by any strange and unwelcome tastes.

The Look

It’s no lie that as humans we eat (and drink) with our eyes. When it comes to a cuppa, many of us whether we realise it or not will get more satisfaction out of a reusable cup that looks and feels nice in our hands. Growing popularity for these cups has led to more competition between manufacturers – which as consumers means more choice and a lot of great looking cups for us!

The Money

Once again, this benefit may not be recognised immediately. Obviously a reusable cup will initially set you back ‘x’ amount of dollars, however many responsible and ethical coffee shops will actually offer a discount if you provide your own cup. This is a great initiative and over time, it will likely make the money back from your initial investment.

The Mess (or lack of it)

This one only applies to certain cups out there but it’s important to recognise nonetheless. For a lot of us, our morning (or afternoon) coffee is enjoyed on the move. It may be the walk to work, a bumpy train or even in a car without cup holders (I’m looking at you fellow Toyota MR2 owners). Any of these situations might prove a little much for your disposable cup lid, and can often leave you or your car a mess. The good news is that many reusable cups available are designed with this in mind, and will feature secure lids to ensure that no matter what you’re doing your coffee is going to stay inside the cup where it belongs.

The Verdict

There are likely counter-arguments which can be made for each of the aforementioned points, however we believe that the case for the reusable cup is a pretty strong one. It’s important to leave the world in a good shape for our children, and while a reusable cup is a small step it can certainly make a big difference – especially if everyone gets on board. With a number of direct benefits to your drinking experience too, it only makes sense.

The FitMyCar Reusable Cup

FitMyCar are serious about enjoying our coffee, and we want our customers to feel the same way too. Our reusable cups are engineered by Frank Green – known for being an ethical and sustainable producer of reusable cups. These cups tick all of the boxes mentioned above including a great looking and feeling design and non taste-leaching construction. They also feature a patented push-button lid to protect from spills and mess, making them perfect for your morning commute. To see the FitMyCar Reusable Cup, click here.

Nick Williams

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