Circular recycles old coffee cups ... into a reusable coffee mug
Coffee cups are among the everyday single-use throwaways that find themselves in the cross hairs of a more eco-conscious public. Using a reusable mug or tumbler is one way to minimize that particular trail of personal waste without losing the barista-fresh cup of coffee around which your morning routine revolves. British company Circular & Co takes that concept a step further, presenting a reusable cup that's reused the very first time you fill it ... because it's made from recycled paper coffee cups that would have otherwise ended up clogging a corner of a landfill. And the mug itself is recyclable so will continue its journey even after its effective coffee-carrying life is over.
Remember when paper cups seemed the perfect environmentally friendly alternative to ozone-eating, non-biodegradable styrofoam? Turns out they're not so great, either.
Paper is a natural product, and it's quite recyclable, but in order to beef it up enough to cradle your steaming hot cup of coffee for minutes or hours, it's lined with a plastic coating that is not readily recyclable. In fact, it takes specialized recycling facilities to handle such cups, and the infrastructure simply isn't there to make it happen on a large scale. So coffee cups – more than 99 percent of UK cups, according to a 2018 BBC story – end up in landfills, water bodies and other parts of the environment in which they're not welcome, to the tune of billions upon billions each year.
Circular & Co looks to address the issue a little more thoroughly than other travel mug makers, designing a mug that keeps old coffee cups out of the landfill, helps stop new cups from being used and sent to the landfill, and doesn't end up in the the landfill itself, even at the end of its life cycle. While coffee cups may not be easily recyclable on a large scale, Circular has partnered up to collect and recycle used coffee cups from coffee shops and supermarkets, using the material as the basis of its mugs. Each mug is made from six recycled coffee cups and is BPA- and melamine-free. The mugs are designed to last for 10 years and are 100 percent recyclable, according to Circular.
Beyond being an eco-friendlier alternative for carrying a morning cup on the go, the Circular mug also includes a few handy design features. In place of a slider or flip lid, the mug uses a no-spill lid with push-button closure recessed below the drinking lip. The round, spring-loaded closure pops open with a quick, one-handed push and offers 360 degrees of sipping. The lid is meant to be more secure and leakproof so the mug can be stored in a backpack or purse without fear of leaks or spills. The insulated Circular mug is designed to keep drinks hot for 60 to 90 minutes.
Circular is trying to get its mug off the ground on Kickstarter now, offering a 12-oz (355-ml) mug at pledge levels of US$13+ and a 16-oz (473-ml) version for $15+. That pricing seems reasonable enough, especially if your coffee shop of choice happens to give discounts for reusable mug fill-ups. Plans call for deliveries to begin in October.
Check out the pitch video below.
Source: Circular & Co