Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it safe to use reusables in the light of covid-19?
- What is the Whitstable Cup made of?
- Where does the cup come from?
- Will it keep my drink hot?
- Why isn’t there a reusable lid?
- What happens if the cup breaks?
- What’s wrong with biodegradable or compostable cups?
- How does the deposit system work?
- Which cafes are using the Whitstable Cup?
- What do you mean by circular economy?
- Which cup system is the most environmentally friendly?
- What happens at the end of the life of these cups?
- What is the carbon footprint of these cups?
What is the Whitstable Cup made of?
The cup is made from 100% polypropylene, a type of plastic which is recyclable at end of life. It is meant to be used hundreds of times – so it’s not single use – a better way of using plastic.
Where does the cup come from?
It is made in the UK and British designed.
Will it keep my drink hot?
The cup is insulated so your hands are safe - but it is not a thermos cup. However, it keeps your drink hot in the same way that a single-use paper cup does.
Why isn’t there a reusable lid?
Unfortunately our trial indicated that many customers did not want to share a lid, and we found it was harder to wash. The café will provide a lid if the customer would like one – it will be compostable or plastic. You can reuse the plastic lid or it can go in recycling. We are trying to find out if compostable lids can go in food waste in Kent.
What happens if the cup breaks?
The cup is robust and designed to last for hundreds of uses, but if it breaks it just goes in your plastics recycling at home or you can drop it off at a cafe to be recycled. Deposits are not returned if the cup is broken.
What’s wrong with biodegradable or compostable cups?
Compostable cups, although made from plant material, are still single-use: they still get used once, thrown away and create waste which has to be dealt with. People think they will just rot down – but in fact, they need to be sent to a specialised in-vessel composting facility. Cups thrown away in the town bins end up in the incinerator along with other rubbish. This is why more and more people are talking about a circular economy instead.
Biodegradable packaging is usually plastic, with a chemical additive which just means it will break down less slowly eg 3 years rather than 500!
Unfortunately compostable and biodegradable packaging can not be recycled which confuses customers trying to dispose of them responsibly.
How does the deposit system work?
You pay £1 cash deposit when you choose a Whitstable Cup for your takeaway drink and you can get your £1 back when you return your cup to any participating cafe.
If the cup isn’t damaged you will be able to get your £1 back and don’t worry if the cup is dirty, as long as we can wash it and reuse it you’ll get your £1 back.
What do you mean by circular economy?
A circular economy designs out waste and pollution, and it keeps products and materials in use. It is an alternative to our unsustainable linear system of TAKE - MAKE - WASTE.
For more information see:
Which cup system is the most environmentally friendly?
When you compare the carbon footprint of the Whitstable Cup with that of single-use paper cups – the results speak for themselves.
If you choose a reusable cup 7 times instead of 7 paper cups – you will use 41% less carbon.
If you use a reusable cup every day for 6 months instead of 182 single-use cups – then you save 95% of the carbon.
What happens at the end of the life of these cups?
Plastic lasts forever – this product is using plastic in the right way, it is designed to be used hundreds and hundreds of times.
The cup is made from polypropylene and if it’s damaged, it is fully recyclable. It has recycle number 5 on it, so can be put in your recycling bin at home.
One website tells us Polypropylene is recycled into brooms, bins, pallets, ice scrapers, and bicycle racks!
What is the carbon footprint of these cups?
A reusable cup made from polypropylene and manufactured in the UK has a lower environmental impact than single-use paper cups after just 3 uses. After 7 uses the environmental impact is 41% less, after 182 uses (6 months) the impact is 95% less.