If, like the majority of the working population, you enjoy (need) that kickstarter caffeine fix on your morning commute then this article is for you! Living in the city centre I have an array of coffee choices on my way to catch the tram to Embryo HQ. I like to mix things up with my coffee choices to keep weekday 8:20 am interesting, for some of us the creature of habit steers us to the place we know and like the best. It’s a commuter’s prerogative. Whatever your warm beverage preference, have you ever considered the early morning habit may be causing our environment? Hot Topic Alert!
In the UK alone, around 2.5 billion coffee cups are being thrown away each year! Apparently, this is enough to go around the planet roughly five and a half times, I’ve not tried it though so don’t hold me to that. Jewellery is always a nice gift but I think our Mother Earth deserves a nicer necklace than that!
Although our ‘trusty’ disposable coffee cups are made largely of paper, they are lined with plastic polyethylene which is tightly bonded to make them waterproof. Mix that with the fact they are contaminated with drink, it makes them really quite difficult to recycle! They have to be taken to special facilities of which three exist in the UK. Unfortunately, it seems that only 1% of our cups actually end up getting recycled.
Our plastic problem is pretty large scale, so what can we do about it? As a nation, we can say no to the non-reusable cup once and for all! We’re definitely getting there though, in 2017 retailers saw a dramatic rise in the sale of reusable coffee cups. David McLagan, found of Ecoffee Cup, wasn’t satisfied with creating just a recyclable product; instead, he believes it’s the consumer mindset around single-use items that need to be changed. After seeing for ourselves the devastating effects our plastic dumping is having on the oceans, thanks to Sir David Attenborough, even talking to friends and colleagues I feel like our mindset is shifting and a lot of us are adopting a more Global-conscious way of thinking.
We now have access to purchase a wide range of reusable cups, from folding ones to fit in cramped bags to robust ones that will even hold up against the Manchester cobbles on your bike! Here’s the best bit… Many big named places on the coffee highstreet will give you a discount if you use a reusable cup! Here’s a few I found: Starbucks & Costa 25p off, Pret 50p (if you order a filter coffee then that’s 49p) and Caffè Nero offer double loyalty stamps! Grindsmith here in Manchester went one further and completely ditched single-use cups altogether from the Pod store in the City Centre. Customers need to bring a reusable cup or sit-in and enjoy! Grindsmith has vowed to fill any cup a customer brings and provide a 25p discount on their drink.
I myself have become a convert of the reusable cup, as have the rest of the Team Embryo (if we’re not making it in the office!) and with the wide variety of colours and patterns out there we’re not looking back. Get Sir David smiling again and ditch the single-use on the commute!