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A lot has changed in the last few weeks, but our convenience-based culture has remained. We buy with an on-the-go mindset, this was true before COVID-19, but it’s especially true now.

This lifestyle relies heavily on single use products, ultimately creating mountains of waste. The disposable coffee cup industry is a large contributor to this ongoing problem. In the US alone, we consume 120 billion paper, plastic, and foam coffee cups a year.

Coffee drinkers should be able to conveniently and safely enjoy their to-go coffee morning, noon, or night without the unnecessary waste of a disposable cup.

At the intersection of cleanliness, convenience, and sustainability, you will find Coffee Cup Collective, founded with a mission to reduce waste while not sacrificing convenience or sanitization.

Coffee Cup Collective is a circular solution. Circular economies, the idea of being able to reuse a product in use for as long as possible before regenerating the product at the end of its lifecycle, is the way of the future. We can look to other circular and shared solutions for lessons learned – bike sharing and Rent the Runway are but a few examples.

As a member of Coffee Cup Collective, you have access to check out a cup at participating cafes, enjoy your coffee, and then return your cup to one of the drop off stations. The Coffee Cup Collective team collects the dirty cups, washes and sanitizes them for you, and then redistributes them for reuse. It’s easy and painless! A clean cup is ready for you when you need it.

Aren’t single use cups the best option right now? Well that’s certainly what the plastic lobby wants you to think, but the fact of the matter is that single use is no safer at not spreading viruses than reusable, especially reusable services. Coffee Cup Collective and other services like ours provide clean and sanitary cups to cafes, eliminating any risk of cross contamination. Not to mention, our service also eliminates the risk of the negative health impacts from single use plastics and biodegradable options… like cancer.

My favorite cafe is limiting “Bring Your Own” (BYO). This is because BYO presents a greater risk of cross contamination. With a BYO system at cafes, a customer hands a barista their personal reusable cup, which is ‘dirty’ in some capacity, whether it has residue on the inside or germs from someone’s hands on the outside. This is why so many cafes have suspended BYO service.

The Coffee Cup Collective service, on the other hand, eliminates the risk of cross contamination. Our clean and sanitized cups are delivered to cafes and only the baristas touch the clean cups before handing the cup (filled with the customer’s drink) to the customer. This follows the same process as single use cups. The fact that we eliminate the risk of cross contamination is a key part of our value proposition.

Coffee Cup Collective the sanitary reusable cup option in Boston, filling the void of suspended BYO programs.

Now why is Coffee Cup Collective better than a coffee shop going off and doing this alone? Well it’s this idea of coopetition. Customers are no longer committing to a single brand or company, they are looking for the combination of solutions that are the most convenient and efficient. By combining the expertise and complementary strengths of multiple companies in the same market, a more complete solution is made for the customer. Coffee Cup Collective is doing just that. We are a catalyst of coopetition between coffee shops, corporates, and colleges.

Coffee Cup Collective is working towards minimizing the challenges of being environmentally and sustainably conscious by combining all the benefits of cooperation and competition.

Why are our stainless steel cups better than those plastic or compostable cups? Well the “compostable” products only truly biodegrade in a commercial composter where they are able to control for light, temperature, and moisture.  If these “compostable” products end up in a landfill, our city sidewalks, or in the ocean, they are just as bad as plastic. The polyfluoroalkyl (PFA) used to make compostable containers durable make the product too durable to degrade in the natural environment.

We all know why plastic products are bad for environmental health, but did you know they’re also bad for human health? Many studies have shown that when heated or scratched these plastic containers leach chemicals into our food. Other studies have shown that you do not even have to heat these containers to be susceptible to plastic leaching. This issue extends further than the infamous plastic ingredient known as BPAs, scientists have discovered that alternative bisphenols used to replace BPA are displaying the same chemical issues.

For all these reasons Coffee Cup Collective is here to help coffee lovers, cafes, and businesses be more sustainable in a fun and practical way!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alison Rogers
CEO & Founder
Coffee Cup Collective

Our company is a circular solution for reusable coffee cups – the coffee cup equivalent to bike sharing.   We offer stylish, high-quality reusable cups (we call them Collective Cups) and actively distribute, track, and clean them so that they are available to subscribers.

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