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    February 16, 2021 4 min read

     Reusable coffee cups - Should you own one? - Here in New Zealand, coffee runs through our veins. It is the drink that wakes us up in the mornings and the one that keeps us going through our busy days. We are a nation of coffee drinkers where only barista style coffees will do.

    We have coffee machines at home and we frequent coffee shops to get our caffeine fixes. Our cafe culture is one of the things that defines us as Kiwis. But, there is a down side. When we mix busy lives and coffee, we don’t stop and sit down to enjoy them, we want our energy boosts on the go. Or, if we do stop and sit down, we often find coffee shops offering only disposable cups because it’s more convenient than washing up.

    But why do we accept barista coffees in paper cups? It’s like eating at a posh restaurant and they serve you lobster on a paper plate! Not to mention the sheer amount of waste produced in New Zealand from disposable coffee cups alone.

    Here is a scary statistic;

    Kiwis throw away 300 million disposable cups every year!

    Reusable coffee cups are a must have item in almost everyone’s bag. Whether you are conscious about your contributions to landfill, or whether you simply enjoy nice coffee, because you should certainly not be drinking a delicious, barista made coffee from a paper cup!

    So, treat yourself to a nice reusable coffee cup and enjoy your coffees in style, and with a guilt free conscience.

    But disposable cups are compostable… aren’t they?

    We love convenience. And we don’t need one more thing to remember to carry around with us, 'Phone, keys, money, bag, cup…' I hear you. And compostable cups, are waste free so what’s the problem, right?

    In the last couple of years we’ve seen most coffee shops moving over to the added expense of buying eco-friendly compostable coffee cups. You’ve seen them, probably even drunk out of them and I’m sure they alleviated your wasteful guilt. But they still end up in landfills doing just as much damage to our beautiful country as their predecessors. They just have a pretty green look to them.

    Compostable cups, more often than not, end up in landfills!

    Disposable coffee cups are made from paper, which is compostable, but they all have a plastic lining, to stop your hot coffee seeping through the paper cup and into your lap. Think back to when you were a kid and you put paper boats in the bath. They didn’t last long eh?

    And you’re right, a lot of disposable cups use a plant based plastic for this lining and that too is compostable. But… and this is the most important part - only at commercial composting stations, you can’t just throw them into your home compost, as they’ll just end up as micro plastics. That means in order for your disposable coffee cup to be composted it needs to end up in a bin that gets taken to a commercial composting station.

    Think back to your last few coffees. Where did you put your cup when you’d finished with it? Chances are you conveniently disposed of them into the nearest bin, a landfill bin right?

    As a small business, I tend to attend a lot of market and event days and I’ve always got my eye on everyone walking around with their coffees. I am always surprised first and foremost by how few people actually have their own reusable coffee cups. And secondly, how all the bins are then packed up and sent to landfill at the end of the day. New Zealand has gone to so much effort to create compostable products, but they are seriously falling down at that last hurdle of actually getting them composted.

    But that isn’t in your control or mine, but what is in our control is whether or not we use a reusable coffee cup.

    A white table with three glass reusable coffee cups from KeepCup sitting on it. One cup has coffee in it with the lid off, two cups are empty but with the lids on.
    Photo credit: KeepCup 


    Are you ready to do your part and stop sending single use cups to landfill? Are you ready to enjoy your premium barista made coffee in a quality cup instead of a paper one?

    The next part is the fun part... choosing which cup you'd like.

    Here at Reuseful we've tried and tested a range of reusable coffee cups for you and have carefully selected our favs;


    1. KeepCup Thermal

    A close up photo of a black stainless steel reusable coffee cup from Keep cup with it's lid off.

     Made from stainless steel, this double walled reusable cup keeps your coffee hot! Great for long commutes or taking the kids to those early morning sport sessions.

    Click here to view KeepCup Thermal colours.


    2. KeepCup Cork

    A glass reusable coffee cup from KeepCup having tea poured into it from a glass jug.

     The KeepCup Cork is made from glass with a gorgeous cork band and is really lovely to drink from. It's available in three sizes and a variety of colours. I just love wrapping my hands around this cup and feeling the heat from my coffees.

    Click here to view all KeepCup sizes and colours.


    3. CuppaCoffeeCup

     Three cups from CuppaCoffeeCup sitting on a table. One cup has a mother and baby pukeko design, one cup has a 'Love You To The Moon and Back' design and the third cup has a bold design of roses.

    Designed by New Zealand and Australian artists these gorgeous cups add personality to your coffees. They are also super lightweight so that you'll barely even notice that you're carrying one around in your bag. With over 20 designs to choose from, you are sure to find one you love!

    Psst... they also make great eco gifts.

    Click here to view all CuppaCoffeeCup designs.




    This article is included in Twinkl's Eco Friendly and Sustainability campaign, and is part of their article 'Some Great Ideas To Be More Sustainable in 2021'.