Boulder embraces a radical solution to disposable coffee cups

© Vessel Works (used with permission) Check out an insulated stainless steel mug for free, as you would a library book. Next time you’re walking down a city street, take a moment to notice how many people are carrying disposable coffee cups. A lot, right? It almost seems like an addiction, this compulsion to carry one’s drink everywhere, and it comes at a steep environmental cost. An estimated 58 billion cups are thrown in landfill every year in the U.S. alone, impossible to recycle due to their thin plastic lining. If bringing one’s own cup is such an unreliable solution, and if people are too busy to stop for a few minutes and sip coffee out of a ceramic mug, then what’s a sustainably-minded coffee shop owner to do? The city of Boulder, Colorado, is about to prove that there’s a better way of doing coffee. It has partnered with a startup called Vessel Works to offer stainless steel insulated mugs in a number of coffee shops across the city. Customers can ‘check out’ these mugs using an app, get them filled with the drink of their choice, and then leave the coffee shop as they usually would. The […]

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