It’s not hard to find disposable coffee cups in the trash wherever you go. Next time you’re at the park or at the train station have a look in the bin. It’s likely you will find some there. This is what inspired the idea for Cup for Cup. Sven Hennebach & Franz von Boeselager have been working together in Düsseldorf since 2017 to create a sustainable option to take your coffee on the go.
According to a study by DUH, we drink an impressive 300,000 to-go cups of coffee per hour in Germany, which amounts to upwards of 2.8 billion cups per year.
And while the disposable coffee cup may not be at the top of the list of environmental concerns in our world, it is still waste and worthwhile to be addressed.
So, how does it work?
The next time you visit one of the participating locations; you can request your take away drink in one of the Cup for Cup reusable cups. You will need to pay a one-euro deposit, which can then be refunded at any participating locations upon return.
Does it come with a lid?
A reusable lid is definitely something on the agenda but takes a bit more work then the cup itself since cleaning can be difficult. In my experience so far, some cafes automatically give a disposable plastic lid with the cup. Unless you really need it, I recommend requesting it without a lid when you place your order.
And what about when the cup is washed, doesn’t this also use energy?
Yes, it is important to note that the cup really earns its sustainability points after a certain amount of washes. (Approximately 12 according to Sven) This is why it is important to make the effort to bring the cups back instead of letting them collect in cupboards. The more we leave at home and at the office, the more will need to be produced to fulfil orders and the less use each cup will get.
Over consumption is an important topic addressed in many environmental conversations these days. Personally, I have made the decision to no longer purchase to-go coffee unless I can get it in a reusable cup. This caused me to ask myself more often, do I really need this? To-go coffee has now become a special treat instead of something I just get, whenever I felt like it. It may only make a small impact but I believe that any step in the right direction is a step worth taking.
For more information on Cup for Cup including a list (and map) of all participating locations please check their website.