April 20, 2023 5 min read

Britain gets through 2.5 billion paper coffee cups a year, with just one in 400 of those recycled and the rest going to landfill. This is estimated to produce an annual carbon footprint equivalent to over 152,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is similar to what 33,300 cars produce in a year. In addition to this, the production of single-use coffee cups requires a significant amount of trees and water which contributes to resource depletion and pollution. Despite a commitment from coffee shops to make their cups more environmentally sound, there are still issues. As Walcom Waugh of Frugalpac explains, ‘conventional compostable cups are made from virgin paper, and the laminated plastic coating is very hard to remove.’ This means that the “sustainable” alternatives aren’t always that sustainable. 

Although some of this is out of our hands, you can help to reduce the environmental impact of single-use cups by investing in a reusable coffee cup — and encouraging your peers to do the same. In this article, we answer your FAQs on reusable coffee cups, and share our advice for getting the most out of yours.

Why Use Reusable Coffee Cups? 

The main reason to use a reusable coffee cup is to reduce waste. Disposable and single-use coffee cups have a negative impact on the environment, and contribute to waste generation, resource depletion and pollution. Reusable coffee cups, on the other hand, have a much lower impact on the environment. A study by Zero Waste Scotland found that, after 10 to 41 uses, a reusable plastic coffee cup has a lower equivalent carbon impact than using the same number of single-use cups and disposing of them. Indeed, their report states that, over the lifetime of a reusable cup, 10.3kg of CO2e could be saved compared to using single-use cups instead. In addition, it found that if reusable cups replaced single-use cups, carbon emissions could fall by a huge 69%.

It is important to note that to get the most out of your reusable coffee cup, you should refill it indefinitely so that little to no disposable coffee cups need to be usedResearch suggests that it can take between 20 and 100 uses for a reusable cup to offset its greenhouse gas emissions, so get into a good habit of packing your coffee cup whenever you leave the house.

reusable coffee cup

Are Reusable Coffee Cups Good for the Environment?

Yes, reusable coffee cups are better for the environment than single-use coffee cups. However, a reusable cup needs to be used between 20 and 100 times in order to have lower emissions than a disposable cup. This means that, in order for your reusable cup to do more harm than good, you need to commit to using it for as long as possible.

It isn’t always simple for us to remember to pack our cup, so if you do forget it, try to make the time to dine-in with a "real cup" instead.

How Many Times Can You Use a Reusable Cup?

Providing that you wash and care for it between uses, a reusable cup can be used multiple times a week for years on end. Research by KeepCup suggests that could have coffee five days a week for at least eight years (that's 2000 times!) in a reusable cup.

To get the most out of your cup, wash it between uses and use it for as long as possible, and then recycle it when it's come to the end of its life.

Benefits of Reusable Coffee Cups

As well as reducing your carbon footprint and preventing single-use waste from entering landfill, there are several other benefits of reusable coffee cups.

1. Longer-Lasting Drinks

Reusable coffee cups are designed with insulation in mind. This keeps your drink hot or cold for a much longer time by "trapping" the hot or cold inside the cup. Single-use coffee cups, on the other hand, are typically made from paper or plastic and do not provide much insulation.

2. Better for Health

Studies show that plastic releases harmful microplastics when in contact with hot liquids. A glass reusable cup will lessen your chances of these plastics leaching into your coffee. In addition, most reusable coffee cups are made from materials that are free from harmful chemicals and do not impart any unwanted flavours or odours. 

3. Saves Money

Whether through a discount scheme for bringing your own cup, or by encouraging you to make your own coffee at home, you can save money when you switch to a reusable cup — especially if you're a frequent coffee drinker. 

4. Perfect for Travel

Reusable cups are lightweight, compact and designed to be used when you’re on-the-go. These durable cups also offer spill, leak and heat protection to help prevent accidents. 

4. Easy to Clean

Reusable coffee cups are easy to clean and maintain, and most can be put in the dishwasher. The Wild & Stone reusable coffee cup is designed to be taken apart for a thorough clean.

What Are Reusable Coffee Cups Made From? 

Recyclable coffee cups are typically made from recyclable plastic, bamboo, or glass, with additional features sometimes made from BPA-free silicone. At Wild & Stone, our glass reusable coffee cup is made from soda-lime glass for no leaching or plastic taste, with a BPA-free thermal silicone sleeve and lid.

reusable coffee cup

What Size Reusable Coffee Cup to Buy?

Reusable coffee cups are often available in sizes by oz. What size reusable coffee cup you buy depends on personal preference, but to help you out, here's a guide on popular coffee sizes. 

Coffee Type

Size (oz)


1-2 oz


2-3 oz


4-5 oz


6-8 oz

Flat White

6-10 oz


8-12 oz


8-16 oz


8-12 oz


If you like a range of coffees, a larger cup will give you freedom to size up and down as you wish. However, if you're set on one size, then a cup that exactly matches your preferred coffee order could be more convenient. 

If you're after a 12oz reusable coffee cup, Wild & Stone has the perfect solution. Our coffee cup is designed to give you a true coffee shop experience without the waste. The equivalent of a Starbucks ‘Tall’ or a Costa 'Medium', our container comes with a silicone cover to keep the heat away from your hands. It's the perfect companion at home or on-the-go.

reusable glass coffee cup

Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our full range of home and lifestyle products on our website, or get more top tips over on our sustainable living blog

Share your plastic-free swaps with us at hello@wildandstone.com or tag us on Instagram #wildandstone.

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