KeepCup blends the best elements of disposable and reusable coffee cups


April 25, 2012

KeepCup, who claims to be “the world’s first barista standard reusable coffee cup”, has arrived on the shores of Italy

KeepCup, who claims to be “the world’s first barista standard reusable coffee cup”, has arrived on the shores of Italy

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KeepCup, which claims to be “the world’s first barista standard reusable coffee cup,” has arrived on the shores of Italy, bringing to 32 the number of countries where the cup is now available. Developed in 2009 in response to the large global waste generated from disposable coffee cups, KeepCup attempts to blend the best elements of disposable and reusable cups.

The KeepCup is the brainchild of brother and sister, Jamie and Abigail Forsyth. Horrified at the amount of waste generated by disposable coffee cups through their own cafés in Melbourne, Australia, they commissioned industrial design firm, Cobalt Niche, to come up with a practical commuter cup that replicates the form and function of disposable cups, but with added benefits of re-usability, recyclability and the opportunity to create your own individual flair.

The result is the KeepCup, designed as a four-part product to enable easy recycling that comfortably fits under the heads of most espresso machines. Claiming thermal properties similar to the phase change materials concept, the KeepCup should maintain the coffee’s temperature for up to 30 minutes.

Manufactured from single component materials: polypropylene for the cup; low-density polyethylene for the lid; silicone for the thermal band; and thermoplastic polyurethane for the plug. These materials, with the exception of silicone, can be recycled in domestic recycling in many parts of the world at the end of the product’s life (estimated to be four years). As well as durability and weight, the materials were chosen for their low embodied energy in manufacture.

Now available in 32 countries, the Keepcup launched in Italy this month during the Milan Design Fair through la Rinascente department stores. The company estimates that KeepCup users have saved at least 800,000 trees from pulp mills, diverted 26,000 tonnes of disposable cup waste and 2 billion disposable cups from landfill since the cup's introduction.

KeepCup prices start from €9.25 (US$12.15).

Source: KeepCup

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Or simply charge the customer 25 cents to wash the mug in an automated cleaner. No landfill.


@voiceofreason: I don't think my coffee stand will let me walk away with a ceramic mug... This is for take-out coffee orders. ;)

Matt Rings

In Taiwan the noodle vendors use cups and bowls made from rice husks. The cups and bowls are sturdy enough to keep a bowl of noodles for an hour before getting soft. In a pinch you can eat the bowls or in a landfill they are bio-degradable. Seems to me this is a win win situation. Good for the rice farmers and the vendors and consumers.

Michael Wader

A styrofoam cup will keep coffee warm for hours. And contrary to rumor, styrofoam is biodegradable.

I've tried replacing the styrofoam cup with paper cups and cheap "insulated" mugs. The result is always cold coffee.

The high-end Thermos mugs work even better than styrofoam, but you'll pay over $25 for a good one, and you have to wash it out every day.

Jon A.

How about an explanation of what the vendor intends "reusable" to mean, eh? I.e., is it "the consumer can keep the cup, wash it, and reuse it at home", or "the vendor retains the cup, washes it", or "the cup has a removable/disposable section, and the rest is reusable"? Come on, that word is the critical part of this press release!

Stan Sieler

What's disposable about it?

A cup that combines disposable with not is the Cozy Cup. Cup shaped bottomless plastic holders into which snap those flat ended white plastic cones.

The holders haven't changed design in decades, except for available colors. There's an opportunity for designing a practical item with a homebrew 3D printer.

Gregg Eshelman
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