Half of the plastic produced globally goes into products that are used only once4, which creates a staggering amount of waste. This is one reason why we don’t use disposable cups at home. Why then, do we have a throwaway culture elsewhere?

With 500 billion disposable cups produced every year, inconvenience is no longer an acceptable reason. Reuse or refrain.


Half of the world’s plastic goes into products that are used only once

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Promotes a throwaway culture of one-time use

Promotes larger movement of reuse and sustainability

Part of the problem

Part of the solution

Almost all compostable and biodegradable cups have to be processed in a commercial composting facility, not in household compost3.

What’s worse, they require a dedicated collection because waste sorting is unable to differentiate compostable cups from other disposable cups, meaning they all go to landfill.


Compostable and biodegradable paper cups cannot be put into household compost

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It is estimated that 500 billion disposable cups are discarded to landfill every year1. That’s one million cups a minute, every hour of every day of every year.

Since we started in 2009, KeepCup reusers have diverted an estimated 3.5 billion disposable cups from landfill. Many small acts make a phenomenal difference.


1 million disposable cups end up in landfill every minute

3.5 billion disposable cups diverted from landfill by KeepCup users

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The breakeven is 15 uses. People are often concerned about the environmental cost of washing compared to a disposable cup. After those 15 coffees you start saving water, trees and energy.2

In other words, if you use a KeepCup instead of disposable cups, after your 15th coffee, you’re helping save the planet.


Guess how many coffees it takes for KeepCup to break even with disposables?







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Whilst disposable cups are marketed as ‘paper‘, they are commonly lined with polyethylene and have polystyrene lids (up to 5% plastic). In fact, 20 ‘paper cups‘ contain as much plastic as a small KeepCup.

Using disposable cups every day for a year will consume nearly a kilo of plastic. Even though KeepCup is made from plastic, KeepCup is about less plastic.


There is the same amount of plastic in 20 disposable cups as one small KeepCup

But aren’t they made of paper?

The argument is one against many. Because most disposable cups are lined with polyethylene they compromise the paper recycling process. The plastic lining also means they take a long time to break down.

KeepCups can go into most domestic recycling bins where they are down cycled into speed humps and bins.


Minutes in your hand, up to 50 years in landfill.

Use KeepCup for 3 years plus. Then recycle.

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A KeepCup lasts for three years, during which time disposables add 2.7 kilograms of plastic to landfill. That’s over 30 KeepCups worth of plastic, for each disposable cup consumer every three years.

Reuse or refrain.


In three years which product uses most plastic?

2.7 KG
in disposable cups.

in KeepCups.

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Because most disposable cups are lined with plastic, they cannot be recycled. We estimate that every minute over one million disposables end up in landfill.1

KeepCups are recyclable. In Australia you can put the separated components in household recycling at the end of life.


Many disposable cups cannot be recycled

Every KeepCup can be recycled

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KeepCups are manufactured from separable, single component materials to facilitate recycling.

Polypropylene is the material of choice with food safe manufacturing, it is BPA free, and has greatest capacity for reuse and recycling at end of life.


Polystyrene Polyethylene Paper

Polyproplyene Silicon LDPE

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Reduction of consumption of goods is one of the most important positive effects we can have on the environment.

If you consider that most products contain only 5% of the material used to make them, it’s a compelling call to action on reuse.


Most disposable cups are lined with polyethylene, contaminating the recycling stream.

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  1. Hanna, Jim, www.oneearth.org, April 2012
  2. Hocking M (1994) "Reusable and disposable cups: An energy based evaluation"*Breakeven is calculated in reference to the life cycle of each product.
  3. Coffey P, http://www.aora.org.au/, April 2013
  4. Freinkel, Susan, Plastic, a toxic love story, 2011