Coffee Shops Calls for Coffee Mug Share Program to Cut Down Paper Cups Usage

By Paula Liu

Coffee—one of the things most people around the country can agree on. Some people like to drink it straight, some like it with a creamer, and some people like to creatively concoct a beverage of their own design. Whatever case it may be, it’s one of those things that people can all appreciate, especially on an early morning.

It’s brewed, poured, and perfected, right into the customer’s hands. But it’s not the coffee that’s the problem, rather, the container it is held in.

What people don’t realize, is that the paper cups are not recyclable, due to the thin plastic lining on the inside.

Despite that, paper cups are used all around the country, and each year, just in Boulder, Colorado, 44 million are being dumped into the trash, none of which are recycled.

In order to cut down the number of paper cups that end up in the trash, a new sharing program is introduced in coffee shops.

That’s when Dagny Tucker came up with a green solution to combat the problem—Vessel.

The share program, Vessel, is one that employs a stainless steel reusable coffee mug that users can check out and use while the user is in the coffee shop. It’s a free service for customers, and it works a lot like a library, or a bike share program. Chances are, if you’ve ever been involved in borrowing a book or a bike (in a share program), then the process will be very straightforward.

The cups are checked out via a QR code on the smartphone, and the customers just have to return it in five days.

The customer doesn’t have to worry about buying it, carrying it around, or washing it.

For those who might be queasy or hesitant, it’s very much like eating out in a restaurant and using the in-house utensils that the restaurant provides.

The cups are cleaned and sanitized, and ready to be used by the next person.