The KeepCup, Why You Need One
Australia has one of the best coffee cultures in the world. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes, with a preference for local roasters over larger American franchises. But a significant problem of our widespread coffee consumption is single-use cups. Although they are made of paper, it is coupled with polyethylene which makes them unrecyclable. In fact, 1 million disposable cups end up in landfill every minute., When you start to calculate what that equates to each day, week, month and year it becomes a scary thought. So what exactly do we do? Do we need to stop drinking coffee? Thankfully that’s not the solution. The answer is simple; if you’re a coffee drinker, invest in a KeepCup.
The KeepCup concept started in the 90s when creators Abigail and Jamie Forsyth were running a series of cafes in Melbourne. As their business expanded the siblings became increasingly concerned about the amount of waste their business and customers were generating – particularly through disposable cups. The precipitating moment that put the creation of the prototype in motion was a realisation Abigail had when feeding her daughter milk. She pondered the idea of giving her daughter milk in a disposable cup, that would then just be discarded after a single use. It was something that she was doing twice a day with her coffee cups and signalled that a change needed to be made.
When researching potential alternatives, they found that the existing products on the market weren’t suitable for use in cafes. Ceramic mugs and thermoses were the only existing options and had a series of drawbacks that made them unsuitable. Ceramic mugs were too easy to break, while thermoses couldn’t fit under the brew head of the coffee machine, making it difficult to see if the coffee had the right amount of milk added and ultimately affecting the taste.
They decided that the only real solution was to design their own. Using their previous experience of owning and operating a cafe together, they began designing the KeepCup. The main focus of the KeepCup was something that baristas could use instinctively, that was lightweight, easy to clean in a dishwasher, and attractive enough that people would be happy to carry around. Not only that, but it had to do all of these things and be created from materials that are recyclable at the end of their lifespan.
Since 2009 KeepCup has sold over eight million units which have resulted in 3.5 billion disposable cups being diverted from landfill. In the same amount of time, approximately 5 trillion disposable cups were thrown away after a single use. There is enough plastic in 28 plastic cups to make one KeepCup, with only 15 uses required before the impact of using a KeepCup is beneficial for the planet. Unlike plastic coffee cups that can’t be placed in your normal recycling bin, the components of the KeepCup (apart from the silicone band) can be disposed of with the rest of the plastics and glass in the recycling. If your KeepCup has a cork band this can be composted at the end of its life.
The KeepCup is one of the most recognisable products within the reuse revolution. Since their popularity took off the KeepCup range has expanded significantly. They now offer KeepCups in a wider range of sizes, and you can also customise the colour scheme of your KeepCup to suit your or a friend’s tastes. The newest option is glass, offering excellent thermal properties to keep your beverages hotter for longer. These are coupled with a biodegradable cork band to prevent your hands from getting burnt on the hot coffee inside.
The smallest option available, the 177ml cup is perfect for espresso shots, macchiatos and babycinos. The 227ml is the standard regular size suited to those who enjoy a simple small-sized coffee. Standard small measurement in most cafes. For those who enjoy a large double shot coffee, the medium 340ml is the best way to go. The large 454ml size is the biggest option available, designed to match the larger coffee sizes offered in America.