As we are pushing to get Sustainable Shoppers live in time for Earth Hour we have hit peak coffee consumption so I thought it only appropriate to have my first blog post for the site about a product thats been so close to me this week it may as well be my shadow. The rCup is an insulated reusable cup with an outer thermal layer made from recycled paper cups and in the UK we on average throw away 350 paper cups with plastic lids each year. The cup has a lifetime of 10 years and is 100% recyclable.
So not only could it save 3500 cups over 10 years but the company behind it are pretty good to deal with. I managed to drop my cup down a stair case breaking the lid and 2 days later a replacement lid was at my door sent using recycled packaging which for me gave them top marks.
What sets the rCup apart from its competitors excluding its green credentials is that its a much better cup than others on the market through its pop up lid mechanism. You can tell the designer used to work at Dyson as he’s put a lot of effort into making this a user friendly product, with the pop up lid you can open the cup with one hand, which whilst typing, texting or walking is noticeably helpful. Whats also found to be a bonus is you can drink from any side unlike most thermal mugs where you are forever rotating the cup to find the hole. Two features which I found made this simple cup much easier to use.
At £12 for a large cup I did find it a bit pricey but found a suitable way to justify the cost. My local coffee shop offers 10p off if you bring your own mug, so with an average of 2 coffees a day that is only 2 months till I’m in profit.
Why it matters
Each day in the United Kingdom we use 35.8 million plastic bottles and less than half of those get into recycling facilities. In Norway they are managing to recycling 97% of there bottles.
We also throw away a staggering 3bn paper cups each year, which equates to 25,000 tonnes of waste, mostly generated from takeaway tea and coffee from Cafes. A stat which we learned through partnering with our first consultancy business a Cafe in Cheltenham.
With only 1 in 400 coffee cups being recycled in the UK, we think there should be more products like the rCup which tackles this shockingly low recycling rate in a two pronged strategy. Firstly removing the need for paper cups in the first place and secondly making good use of those recycled cups for its outer thermal layer.