Plastic Free July - Day 10: Reusable coffee cups

Let’s Talk Coffee and Tea and Juice and whatever.

This is NOT what you want

This is NOT what you want

No doubt you realize that the lid on your take away coffee cup is plastic and not easily recyclable. Maybe, like me, you stop taking the lid, walking extremely slowly trying so hard not to spill your precious hot drink all over yourself. Once it finally gets low enough in the cup, you gratefully pick up your cadence a bit.

But did you also know that most likely the cup itself is not compostable or recyclable? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that cup is most likely lined with plastic.

Yes, seriously.

So it’s going straight to the landfill and not doing anything good for our planet. I did just read that Starbucks is beginning to try out recyclable and compostable cups, but we shouldn’t count on that, we should be bringing our own!

That’s why you should get your own reusable coffee cup! My Byta has such cute options. However, it’s likely that you already have one (or two, or ten) lying around your house. So the best thing you can do it to use one you already have rather than purchasing something new. Trust me, when I started seeing my friends with their My Byta’s I almost bought one, but I’m still using my bright green one I bought at Target years ago - even though I don’t think it’s the cutest and I don’t love that it’s made of plastic (recycled plastic, but still) It was the best option because now I’ve kept that (likely non-recyclable) coffee cup out of the landfill and I use it all the time.


Maybe you saw this on my instagram story last week? I was at Render Coffee in Boston and like many other coffee shops, they don’t have “for here” glasses for cold drinks - only for hot. So even though I was dining in, I had them fill my green thermos with my cold drink.

That brings me to my final thought: Have your coffee or tea at the cafe! I understand we don’t all have the luxury of time to do that, but when you do, go for that option.


If, like me, you have a hard time remembering to bring your reusable cup, my tip is to have a go bag at the ready next to you door or to keep it in your car. I like to use Plastic Free July as a time to reset and set these habits in place, and I find that it makes sticking true to them the rest of the year much easier to maintain.