The Plastic Free Promise: week 2

Jess Henshall

The environmental issues of plastic are finally being heard throughout the country, with more and more companies and organisations fighting to make plastic free the norm. While we wait for more action to be taken, we're brining you our six week guide to going plastic free. Last week we talked about bags, and the different ways we can say NO to plastic ones, and today we're talking about reusable cups.

Did you know that over 10 thousand coffee cups are used and thrown away every 2 minutes in the UK?! That's over 2.5 BILLION a year. It's shocking, but unfortunately it's seen as normal. If you're passionate about making change happen in the plastic free fight, then starting with coffee cups is definitely the way to go.

Bring your own reusable coffee cup
On the market today there are new brands bringing out  environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing reusable coffee cups. Brands such as KeepCup and Surfers Against Sewage are two that we stock, but of course there are loads of different ones to choose from. Even glass ones are offered, ideal for coffee drinkers. Lots of people choose to have a couple of reusable cups, so when you feel in need of a takeaway drink, you've got one ready at hand. If we all thought ahead and used reusable ones then think of how much plastic we could save every day, every year. If you don't have your reusable cup with you, think to yourself "do I really need this drink? Is it worth the waste?".

Cafes need one use takeaway cups - what can we do?
Of course, one of the real issues with this debate is what can companies be doing to help in the plastic free fight? Coffee shops can't be without takeaway cups to offer to customers who don't have a reusable cup, so what can be done? Lots of independent cafes use compostable takeaway cups and containers which are made from plants, not plastic. Here at Archie Browns we use Vegware, a brand which uses plants to create their products, which can be broken down in less than 12 weeks with industrial composting, and returns nutrients to the soil. It's made from both recycled and renewable resources and is low carbon. This is a fantastic option for conventional coffee cups, and should be the only option, but until it is, choosing to get drinks from shops which use these products instead of ones which use plastic is a great step if you don't have your reusable cup with you.

Help the environment and yourself
Lots of cafes offer money off your drink if you bring your own reusable cup, a great incentive to help the environment, one piece of plastic at a time.

In short, what can we do TODAY to make a difference:
- bring your own reusable coffee cup
- say no to a drink if it comes with plastic
- be organised - think ahead whether you'll need your cup
- look for eco alternatives