You mug

Ditch the disposable cup

How do you take your coffee? Flat white, espresso, with a side of global waste and climate change? Over 500 billion disposable coffee cups are used around the world every year, yet less than 1% are recycled. 1,2

Bringing your own reusable cup when you buy your morning beverage helps to cut down on unnecessary waste, saves natural resources and can even save you money, too.



Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.


An increasing number of coffee and tea shops now offer a discount if you bring your own reusable cup to be filled up. At Starbucks and Costa, for example, you’ll save 25p. Many don’t advertise this discount though, so don’t be afraid to ask.


Hot liquids can cause the plastic polyethylene lining in paper cups to break down and leach into your drink, meaning you get an unwanted dose of chemicals alongside your daily caffeine hit.3

If your cup is made of polystyrene, your drink could be infused with a chemical called styrene, which has been linked to several health issues and which the US National Research Council believe is a human carcinogen.4


Less than 1% of disposable paper cups are recycled in the UK every year, while in the US over 50 billion cups end up in landfill sites.5 Why? Most normal recycling plants can’t process the cups, because of the difficulty in removing the waterproof plastic lining inside from the paper outside.

This means that even if you are recycling your cups, they’ll probably all end up in the same place: the dump.

109 g

CO2 emissions are created per disposable cup.7

Climate change

20 million trees are cut down in the manufacturing of disposable paper cups every year, using an astonishing 12 billion gallons of water.6

On top of this, the processes used to make the cups also release greenhouse gases and carbon, resulting in hotter temperatures and melting ice-caps.

Global Goals

In September 2017, a historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'You mug' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature



This one is plain and simple: either take ten minutes to enjoy your coffee in-situ, or take a reusable cup with you when you want a hot drink. There is no shortage of stylish, practical alternatives to the paper cup. Here are a few of our favourites:

1.Frank Green: easily cleanable and totally spill-proof. Fill it up, pop it in your bag, and run for the train - revolutionary.

2.The JOCO Cup: these glass cups are BPA and chemical-free and come in standard takeaway cup sizes, meaning they’re perfect to use in your local coffee shop.

3.The KeepCup: sustainably produced and colourful, you can pick from a range of sizes and materials or design your own.

4.Contigo Austoseal Mug: while being a little more chunky than the others, this is a rare gem as it's vacuum insulated and sealed, meaning you can make your cuppa at home and enjoy it two hours later, still steaming hot.

Success Stories


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Whilst it wasn't easy at first it got easier as time went on. You just have to remember your re-usable cup each time you get out. This eventually becomes routine, and I am determined to continue with my pledge. Some coffee shops are a bit startled when I get my cup out but that's alright. I feel as if this makes a difference, and I'm happy that I started it, as small changes can make a difference. I wish everyone would try this, it would change a lot of things for the better and make you more self-aware in this consumerist society, where a small price comes at a huge cost to the environment.

Small differences can make a difference, however small changes in lifestyle should give confidence and inspiration to consider bigger things.

I mostly remembered/always remembered but sometimes wasn't as diligent as I could have been. It was great to have made the pledge though, and work to cement the rule. I will continue to try my best to bring my own fillable vestibles for takeaway drinks.

I have my own keepcup now and I intend to continue to use it until the glass degrades back to silica.

This is one we should all do all the time! My resuable mug lives in my office now and I've enlisted 2 friends at work to nag me to go get it if I forget it - and they do the same :)

Also helped me save money by not buying a coffee and making one for myself instead!

Roughly working it out, I have saved myself using 80-100 disposable cups over the past 2 months.