Why reusable mugs are better than disposable cups

Hello! It’s Tanita here, with a post on the topic of reusable mugs. I am a person who is fuelled by tea – it has been said that my hand is permanently locked in a reusable mug holding position! I also appear to have the ability to hear a kettle being clicked on from a mile away (my family can attest to the truth of this statement). Some people can not fully function without their caffeine fix of coffee in the morning and pick me up cuppa and biscuit in the afternoon. If you drink water, coffee, tea, juice or hot chocolate this is the blog post for you! Do you currently use a reusable mug? If you do – hurrah! If not, I am here to tell you some of the problems with disposable cups and the benefits of using reusable bottles and mugs.

Using a glass or mug saves wasted disposable cups

The Problem with Disposable Cups

Every year we use 4 billion plastic cups in the UK – most of these are used once and then thrown away. According to Sustainable Brands, it is estimated that 2.5 billion paper cups go to landfill. You may think that these billions of cups must be easily recycled because they are made of paper or plastic. However, according to Our World website, most paper cups are coated with a plastic resin called polyethylene which makes recycling uncommon. Under EU health and safety regulations, coffee cups cannot be made from 100% paper or cardboard alone. This means that many disposable cups often get sent to landfill, which results in more waste and is bad for the environment. In these times of limited resources and diminishing landfill space, this cannot continue. Although some cups can now be recycled, it is always better to reuse than to recycle.

Disposable Cups

Choose a Reusable Mug

For those of you that like to get coffee on the go, some coffee shop owners may offer you a discount if you take your own mug. Why not try taking your reusable mug to various retailers to see how you get on? Does your local coffee shop fill customers’ reusable mugs with coffee or tea? Some cafes sell their own brand of reusable mugs too. Let us know how you get on by commenting below.

Our team recently had a stall at the International Market over the weekend and I took my tea flask with me. Unfortunately I accidentally dropped the ceramic mug and it broke! Thankfully I had other ones at home to use instead. This is one of only a few downsides of having a reusable mug. According to Carbon Clear, on average a ceramic cup can be used 2,000 times before it breaks which still makes it better for the environment than buying a take away coffee in a disposable cup every other day!

Benefits of using a Reusable Mug

I currently use a ceramic mug for my tea and I love it! I got it from a friend for my birthday and I have never looked back. Not only does it mean that I rarely use and waste disposable cups but it also functions as a great source of heat for my hands. On longer journeys on the bus a hand warming reusable mug can really do the trick in keeping you both hydrated and warm. Reusable mugs can keep your coffee or tea hot for hours. Research from the University of Colorado describes some of the benefits of using a reusable mug:

  • Reduces waste, energy, transport and resources
  • Less chance of spill or leakage
  • Decorate – personalise your reusable mug
  • Durable
  • Cheaper in the long term (for individual and retailers as don’t need to produce disposable cup)

At the University of Aberdeen they have sold 1,500 Smug mugs and reduced the number of disposable cups being used on campus by 11,275! Fingers crossed that the new intake of students for 2015/16 continue to use reusable mugs. A few of us in the Recycling Team own reusable bottles and flasks for water and tea that we take with us when going out of the office for meetings or at events. There are many different styles and colours of reusable mugs for men and women. Do you have a reusable mug? Are you thinking about getting one now after reading this post? I hope so! A combination of thinking about mugs and tea and getting to the end of this post means I am now rather thirsty for a cuppa. Wait, I think I hear a click of the kettle going on in our works kitchen – I hope someone is making!

Happy Reusable mug drinking!

Reusable Mug IMG_7850Reusable Mug


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