Firstly, I’m sorry this is day late.
This, dear readers, is my beloved Keep Cup:
I bought it late last year after the untimely death of my coffee plunger led to me ducking next door more and more frequently for my favourite soy cappuccinos. Every time I threw a disposable cup into the bin, I felt a pang of (admittedly somewhat self-righteous) guilt. So much waste! So much energy going into the production of each cup! So many forests destroyed, so many cute baby animals dying for the cardboard!
While it wasn’t quite that dramatic, there was always that thought at the back of my mind, that this was a completely unnecessary waste. So I did some research. What I found was this:
-paper cups cannot be recycled. The lining (polyethylene) that stops the coffee going in the top and dropping straight back out the bottom ensures the cups go straight to landfill.
-keepcup cite an estimate of 500 billion disposable cups being produced annually, using enormous amounts of virgin paper pulp (there are contamination concerns about using recycled paper). I’d use a more “reliable” source except that I can only find US figures, which don’t really give the full picture (1)
-According to finding of an independent Life Cycle Assessment conducted by the Centre for Design at RMIT, over a 12 month period, a KeepCup [or any other reusable coffee cup worth its salt] will use half the carbon, one third of water use, and half the energy use of a disposable cup (2)
-this table (click on it to make it legible) (3)
Of course, using reusable cups only works if you use it enough times – I have seen estimates anywhere between 16-24 uses. For me, that was easy done and for $14, it was a no brainer. I’m always surprised though, how few KeepCups I see around the place. I’m not sure why – whether it’s disinterest, laziness or lack of knowledge of their availability and cheapness.
Do you have a reusable cup? If not, I’m genuinely curious as to your reason – no judgement involved :]
If you’re interested in KeepCups though, you can create your own here: www.keepcup.com.au. Of course, there are also thousands of other varieties of reusable cup, I just happen to like mine a lot :] And no, I wasn’t paid for this little propaganda gem.