top of page

Plastic-Free July Challenge #5: Get your coffee in a reusable cup ☕

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

Drinking from a reusable coffee cup during work

What is better than a cup of coffee in the morning? Having one in a reusable cup that will not be littered in the streets!

A littered coffee cup by the litter bins

Same old story! The bins are right there, a few feet away ...

Coffee is nice, but drinking it responsibly is better. Far too often we come across littered coffee cups. With so many cups of coffee consumed every day, the litter bins are overflowing...

A trash bin full of coffee cups

Coffee cups cannot be recycled because of the polythylene membrane

Did You Know

  • Canadians drink about 14 billion cups of coffee every year.

  • In Vancouver 2.6 million coffee cups are disposed per week!

  • Coffee cups cannot be recycled due to their polyethylene membrane - a film of plastic that keeps them waterproof.

  • This means that even after the paper decomposes, the plastic liner will last for hundreds of years...

Though certain companies have taken the initiative to implement wax liners and/or other recyclable elements in their cups, it is very difficult for recycling companies to distinguish between different types of disposable cups.

What can consumers do to reduce coffee cup litter?

Reusable thermos

1. Bring your own mug

Use any mug if you are dining in. This is especially easy if you live or work a few steps away from your coffee place. You can use a *travel mug or a *thermos if you are on the go.

2. Use the restaurants' mugs

Some chains will provide mugs, plates and bowls to customers eating in their restaurants

3. Prepare coffee at home

Enjoy your coffee at home, or prepare it in a *travel mug or *thermos if you are on the go.

4. Reuse the cup

If you forget your mug and desperately need coffee on the go, consider washing it later to reuse for another purpose. Together with the lid, it can be handy for storing personal belonging. If you do not need the lid however, refuse it. Even the cup itself can be useful; if you are an artist you can use it for your paint water.

What can businesses do to reduce coffee cup litter?

Coffee served in a reusable cup

1. Encourage customers to bring their own mugs

For extra encouragement, provide discounts or points when when customers use their own mugs.

2. Provide mugs

In case a customer forgets their mug, have mugs available for them to sit down and drink in the restaurant.

3. Use biodegradable cups

If ultimately, a take out cup is still required, switch to *compostable cups.

(*As an Amazon Associate OnePieceADay earns from qualifying purchases)

The best option to avoid confusion of whether or not to recycle, and reduce the waste problem altogether, is to make your own coffee! For those of you who enjoy the convenience and taste of café brew, bring your own reusable coffee mug!

Understandably, branding has become a big part of business and consumer lives. Therefore, we recommend you support your favorite coffee shop by purchasing a reusable coffee cup from them (i.e. Starbucks) or urging them to come out with one if they haven’t already! Additionally, you may also find that your local coffee shop offers a discount for those who bring a reusable mug!

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many coffee shops are not accepting reusable mugs. In this case, opt to make your coffee at home with at-home coffee products.


Today’s Challenge:

  • Get your coffee in a reusable cup/make your coffee at home! If you don’t drink coffee/tea, show us what you’re doing to avoid purchasing beverages in disposable cups!

  • Be sure to tag @onepieceaday1, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly to earn 1 ENTRY!

How can I win prizes?

Step 1: Follow @onepieceaday1

Step 2: Tag a friend! (optional)

Step 3: Share a photo (to your story OR your feed) of you completing each challenge for 1 ENTRY, tag @onepieceaday1, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly.

Step 4: Log your refusal on the OnePieceADay app!

Each day is a new opportunity to increase your chances. Your total entries will be counted at the end of the month and be entered into a draw to win a zero-waste prize pack. Be sure to stick around for more chances to win!

Questions? Drop them below!


Tomorrow ditch the plastic sandwich bags

Cherries in a sandwich bag

According to, the average American uses approximately 540 plastic sandwich bags a year.

That is 539 bags too many.

We commend every individual who is packing their lunch from home - that change in itself prevents a great load of single-use plastic from entering our environment! This change has likely been healthier for you and your wallet, no doubt; but have you ever stopped to consider how unhealthy the packaging you’re using has been for the planet?

Switch to reusable packaging alternatives and feel good about one more thing that you are saving! Sure it may add an item or two to your dish washing load, but the trade off is well worth it in the long run.

There are many alternative ways to store your food more sustainably. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more 🥪


Associated Links:

31 views0 comments


bottom of page