Plastic Free July Day 5: Bring Your Own Mug

zero waste coffee mug

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Welcome to Day 5! Today it's Madison from Zero Waste California who shares her tips about plastic free coffee. Enjoy!

It’s time to give up the single-use coffee cup

disposable coffee cups pollution

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Did you know that most disposable coffee cups are not recyclable? Even Starbucks, which lines their cups with a layer of plastic. This isn’t news, coffee distributors have been doing this for decades.

Dunkin Donuts is one of the worst offenders, still serving their hot beverages in toxic Styrofoam (polystyrene) cups. This year, Dunkies announced that they will be eliminating all polystyrene cups by 2020. But what does that mean, exactly? It means they will stop producing more, but will still distribute the ones they have until they are out. These cups are toxic to humans, to the environment, and are not recyclable. 


coffee cups waste facts


Wait, what about coffee pods?

single use coffee pods keurig

Catching up quickly in the environmentally unfriendly department, Keurig and single-use coffee pods are MASSIVE contributors to landfill and global warming. If you have to use Keurig machines, invest in a reusable coffee pod and fill your own cups.  

Fact: All of the K-Cups sold in 2013 could wrap around the world 10.5 times - (Source: RelevanSea).


Here’s the solution: B.Y.O.Mug!

That is, Bring Your Own Mug.

Most coffee establishments are happy to fill your personal mug or travel container, as long as it’s clean!!!  In fact, many establishments will even give you a discount.

Find a unique mug that suits your coffee needs at your local second-hand store. They are up to their EARS in coffee mugs, usually for less than a dollar!

If you must buy something new, make sure you’re purchasing from an eco-friendly company, you know, the companies that just *get it.*

European Coffee Trip has a great list of sustainable coffee cups, check it out!

Or, to be even MORE cost effective and energy efficient, make your own coffee at home! Bring it with your in a Klean Kanteen or mason jar to go.


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