From reusing shopping bags to carrying a bamboo straw around in case the need for an emergency cocktail strikes, there are lots of simple ways to make small everyday changes that reduce the amount of plastic and other landfill waste we create.
You might have switched to plastic-free supermarket veg, or invested in a cool reusable water bottle – whatever the action, however small it might seem, this kind of stuff can make a huge difference to the amount of crap that enters landfill sites, oceans and the atmosphere each year.
With microplastics so prolific on this planet that they’re even falling from the sky in arctic snow, if you haven’t started thinking about what you can do to reduce your impact on the environment yet, now’s probably a good time. On that note, and without further ado, here’s my honest review of one everyday product that might be for you: a reusable bamboo coffee cup, in this case kindly gifted to me to review by the good folks at Reusaboo.
Why get a reusable coffee cup?
If you’re a frequent takeaway coffee (or tea) drinker, you probably already know that the paper coffee cups you’re usually served your drinks in are lined with plastic to stop them from leaking. As well as their plastic lids, pretty much everything about ordinary takeaway coffee cups is not recyclable other than at a few specialist facilities, which is why 99.75% of disposable coffee cups end up in landfill.
By 2011, more than 2.5 billion coffee cups were being thrown away each year, a number which the BBC think it’s safe to assume has gone up by now (see link above) – and I’m inclined to agree. Try and picture what 2.5 billion coffee cups in a pile might look like, then think how many years people have been buying takeaway coffee for. You can start to see why having one cup that you reuse for years and years and years, is a better idea than getting a new throwaway cup every time you fancy a drink.
As an added bonus, so many people now offer a discount on drinks if you bring your own cup that it doesn’t take long to essentially earn back the few quid a reusable cup costs!
Who are Reusaboo?
Reusaboo is the creation of a guy called Alec who wanted to tackle the environmental problem that disposable coffee cups present, by creating a sustainable, biodegradable version out of fast-growing bamboo.
The Reusaboo site says “We are fighting waste and rebelling against single-use, disposable culture through naturally sustainable, bold and striking reusable bamboo coffee cups.”
This isn’t some big international brand – it’s just a decent guy with a good idea, trying to help fight against the rising tide of landfill waste in the world.
What’s so special about Reusaboo cups?
There are various brands out there now selling reusable coffee cups, including heavy glass versions and rubbery-tasting silicone ones. Here are a few reasons why I genuinely think Reusaboo’s 450ml reusable bamboo coffee cups are a winner, now that I’ve been slurping out of one for weeks on end.
1. They’re biodegradable & recyclable
The Reusaboo cups are shipped in plastic-free, fully recyclable packaging, and because the cups themselves are made from bamboo (with silicone leak-proofing and heat protecting sleeve) they naturally biodegrade in a sensible amount of time – unlike anything lined with plastic. Bamboo is a really fast-growing plant that’s being used to make everything from socks to straws these days, because of its super-renewable and versatile qualities.
If you’re wondering about the silicone: silicone is generally easier to recycle than the plastic lids of traditional coffee cups, so while not as quick to biodegrade as bamboo, lots of eco products use this as a practical alternative to plastic. It’s also said to be safer for human health and the planet than plastic, in terms of the production process as well as disposal – which is always good to know.
2. They’re leak-proof
I don’t know about you, but in the past I have demonstrated a real talent for accidentally spilling tea and coffee on my hand / clothes / face because ‘normal’ coffee cups are leaky and flimsy and generally not suited to a clumsy person like me.
Reusaboo have nailed it on the leak-proofing, to the point that I held the cup upside down and shook it around while it was full of coffee (a sensible person would have done it with cold water) and honestly, it didn’t spill a drop.
It’s so leak-proof, that when I didn’t get time to finish my cup of tea before going to work one day, I threw the rest in my bamboo coffee cup, sealed it up and took it on the bus in my backpack to finish when I got to work. For real. I don’t know how they’ve made it so good, but damn, that leak-proofing is effective.
3. They’re lightweight
I like the look of glass reusable cups, but carrying one around all day can really weigh you down – and when I’m already carrying a bag full of spare totes, reusable cutlery, a water bottle etc etc etc.. I’m really looking for the most lightweight things I can find so that I don’t feel like a pack horse.
Because these coffee cups are made from bamboo rather than glass or even thick solid silicone, they’re legitimately a lot lighter than the other offerings on the market. You’ll barely notice one floating around in your bag for the day.
4. They don’t make your drink taste weird
Not that I want to just slag off silicone all day, but have you ever drunk out of a silicone or plastic lid / mug / other thing and found that suddenly, everything tasted a bit like rubber? Silicone is great for leak-proof-ness, but I don’t rate it as the best lid material.
Reusaboo bamboo coffee cups also have lids made of bamboo fibre, so as well as the cup being a no-added-flavour material, you don’t get a rubbery or plasticy tang as you drink.
5. They come with a warranty
Warranties are reassuring, because nothing says “I know my product is great” quite like “I will replace it for you free of charge for the first 12 months, if by some miracle, it manages to get broken”. Alright, that’s not the exact wording of the warranty – but you get the idea.
If your Reusaboo cup breaks within a year of purchase, you just need to show your proof of that purchase and you’ll be given a replacement. Based on how sturdy and genuinely high-quality my one feels, I can’t imagine one of these breaking unless you actually took a hammer to it – so just avoid doing that and I think you’ll be fine.
I’m super happy with my new bamboo cup and while I have been gifted it to review, can reassure you that I wouldn’t be singing its praises if I didn’t think it was great. If I think something sucks, I just won’t write about it – so if you’re in the market for a reusable coffee cup to cut down on your everyday waste, go check out the Reusaboo site and support this rad new company!