The days of disposable coffee cups are numbered.
Yep, like the humble plastic bag, disposable coffee cups are set to fade into obscurity because, it turns out, they aren't always recyclable. It just so happens that there are only
equipped to do the separating-plastic-from-paper-thing so lots actually go un-recycled.
three places in the UK
Because we're looking down the barrel of a future affected
horrendously by plastic pollution, government types have considered bringing in a "latte levy" – or a 25p charge every time we use a disposable coffee cup – much like the 5p plastic bag thing (which has prompted an 83% drop in usage since it was introduced in 2015).
Companies are already introducing discounts for people who bring in their own cups. The best discount (that we've seen) is at Pret, which is now offering a princely 50p off your morning coffee if you bring your own cup. And (top tip alert) their perfectly adequate filter coffee is already only 99p.
So which on-the-go coffee mug should you purchase to replace your disposable cup? We decided to try a bunch to find out which ones are up to scratch...
The Fancy Cup
"I was pleasantly surprised by The Keep Cup, considering my somewhat irrational hatred of portable coffee mugs. Often the unreliable plastic lids leave me with coffee spills on my nice Stan Smiths. Fitting a regular-sized coffee from Eat, it's nicely weighted and the glass mug kept my beverage hot all morning, without altering the taste. While I did feel a little smug handing it over to the barista, that quickly turned into secondhand embarrassment when he struggled to take the lid off. But I can live with that as long as my trainers stay coffee stain-free." – Louise Whitbread, Editorial Intern
Keep Cup, £19, available at
The Foldable Cup
"This little guy will be a permanent fixture in my life from here on out. I've been unreasonably excited about it all day. It shrinks to the size of my purse, which is perfect for the teeny tiny micro bags I have my eye on for this spring, and the fact it folds up makes me feel like it's a cute Transformer? Anyway, it holds a regular cup of coffee's worth, the lid feels airtight – meaning no stains garnered on the walk to work – but the moveable stopper could be a little more secure. Also, the guy serving the coffee squeezed it a little too tight, as it's made of silicone, which spilled the top of my coffee. But that's his fault, not the cup's... I love this 'lil Stojo." – Georgia Murray, Fashion & Beauty Writer
Pocket Cup, £12.75, available at Kooks Unlimited at
The Budget Buy
"Oh, you blue little beauty. I've been using a Keep Cup for ages but always remain sceptical about the the lid somehow absorbing the taste of the cheap, black coffee I insist on drinking. So I've always steered clear of other brands, especially 'budget' ones. However, this really came through! Though I had to rinse out a powdering substance inside first, it kept my coffee warm for two hours after I paid my 49p at Pret, there was no weird taste, AND (!) it has a sealable lid you have to press so it doesn't spill when it sits precariously next to you on the bus. Well in.
UPDATE: Remnants of coffee spilled out when I went to wash it last night and also it was very difficult to clean the lid. So have gone from a solid thumbs-up to an ¯\_(ツ)_/¯" – Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Social Media Assistant
HEMA Coffee/Tea Mug To Go, £12.50, available at
The Eco Cup
"I mean, what's not to love about this little cutie? It's bright blue, it's soft AF, made from bamboo and it successfully carries coffee (win). Granted, it only holds a small coffee but on my route to work, I'm usually on my second cup of the day so I am grateful for the dinky quantity.
I must admit, my coffee gained lukewarm status rather quickly, but I am actually very thankful for this as I've never been a big fan of a scalded mouth. It resulted in me waving goodbyeeee to that regular tension/fear I get while tipping a coffee cup towards my mouth – which usually sends me into an absolute meltdown.
Due to my sheer desperation to photograph this bad boy on my journey in to work, it did unfortunately result in quite a lot of spillage from the lip – which, as you can imagine, completely interfered with my attempts to get 'the shot'. But you know, I can forgive that, I do walk rather quickly.
And can I just mention how great it looks teamed with a triple denim ensemble." – Meg O'Donnell, Picture Assistant
Eco Cup, £10, available at Aspiga at
Not On The High Street
The Starbucks One "This is the actual budget choice as it costs a marvellous £1 and £1 only. Also, if you use it at Starbucks you get 25p off your coffee too, so that's good. Also, I don't know if the barista made a mistake and thought I already owned the cup but she didn't even charge me for it. So I paid £0. And yeah, it does hold a grande coffee nicely. No weird taste or anything. The only trouble is that it's a little hot to hold. Well actually it's a lot hot to hold. I had to wrap my scarf around it to transport back to the office. It keeps coffee warm just as long and probably longer than a normal paper cup though, and at a price like that, I'll save enough money to buy new hands." – Jess Commons, Health & Living Editor Starbucks Cup, £1, available at any Starbucks branch