• Freiburg's solution means no longer feeling guilty about your takeaway latte. (Getty images)Source: Getty images
Disposable coffee cups are so 2017.
Lucy Rennick

24 Jan 2018 - 9:19 AM  UPDATED 24 Jan 2018 - 9:21 AM

Ever since ABC aired its War on Waste program, environmentally aware coffee lovers have faced mounting pressure to steer clear of disposable coffee cups in favour of reusables. KeepCup, an Australian reusable cup manufacturer, experienced a 400 per cent sales increase last year, and various cafes have started offering discounts for people bringing their own vessel.

The city of Freiburg in Germany, however, has gone down a different route to promoting sustainability and reducing waste – perhaps in a bid to attract people not ready to make the financial commitment to a reusable cup (which normally retail around the $30 mark), or the more forgetful among us who can’t for the life of them remember their KeepCups in the morning.

What’s the best reusable coffee cup?
After ABC’s War on Waste, sales of reusable cups have soared - and the options are beautiful.

Behold: the Freiburg Cup, a plastic coffee cup with a disposable lid provided to 100 CBD businesses. For the small price of 1 euro, customers can take their coffee away in a Freiburg and then return the cup to participating stores. They’ll even get their 1 euro back. Stores will wash and disinfect the cups, which can be reused up to 400 times, at which point they’ll retire after a long and illustrious cup career. Anyone with a KeepCup knows what this means: no more coffee dregs spilled in handbags. 


The cups are made from recyclable polypropylene, and are heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe. The program has been running for a little over a year, and has been largely successful in a country that consumes around 300,000 cups of kaffee per hour. It’s popular among students and CBD workers who want to travel light, so much so that other German cities are looking to replicate the system in coming years.


To that end, Munich recently launched the Munich Recup.

So perhaps Australian cities should consider following suit – Canberra Cup, anyone?


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