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