7 Best Eco-Friendly Disposable Coffee Cups: Zero Waste Packaging

Apr 26, 2023 • Sellah Salasia

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Do you love takeaway coffee from your favorite coffee shop? The world is choking because of the trillions of plastic coffee cups disposed of after every single use. But we can do better as coffee lovers to protect our environment. 

One way to do this is by using eco-friendly disposable coffee cups. These are sustainable and compostable coffee cups that break down completely without causing harm to the environment. 

Types of Eco-Friendly Disposable Coffee Cups

There are two types of eco-friendly disposable coffee cups:

  • Compostable paper coffee cups
  • Plant-based plastic coffee cups

Our Top Picks for Compostable Paper Coffee Cups

1. Earth's Natural Alternative (ENA) Compostable Disposable Coffee Cups

Product Rating Product Rating Placeholder
4.7 out of 5
Earth's Natural Alternative Compostable Disposable Coffee Cups
Earth's Natural Alternative Compostable Disposable Coffee Cups

One way to thank nature is by using disposable coffee cups such as Earth's Natural Alternative Compostable Disposable Coffee Cups. The Ena cups are 100% compostable coffee cups made from sustainable and biodegradable bamboo fiber. To ensure that your coffee cup doesn’t soak wet after filling it with your favorite coffee brew, the cups are laminated with compostable corn-starch-based materials. These cups are suitable for steamy hot drinks such as coffee, hot chocolate, and tea.

Pros:

  • Plastic-free
  • BPA-free
  • It is heat-resistant up to 194° F
  • They don’t deteriorate while using them
  • They are sturdy and don’t get soggy even after leaving liquids in them for a while

Cons: 

  • It is not microwave oven safe.
  • It is not dishwasher safe.

2. ECOLipak Biodegradable Disposable Paper Coffee Cups

Product Rating Product Rating Placeholder
4.4 out of 5
ECOLipak Biodegradable Disposable Paper Coffee Cups
ECOLipak Biodegradable Disposable Paper Coffee Cups

Another perfect alternative to plastic cups with wax linings is the ECOLipak Biodegradable Disposable Paper Coffee Cups. This eco-friendly disposable coffee cup is made from sustainable plant-based material and is free from plastic and wax linings.

Whether you are hosting a party or picnic or just want to enjoy your cup of coffee, you are assured that these compostable coffee cups will take 3 to 6 months to decompose in commercial facilities.

Pros:

  • BPA-free
  • Leak-free
  • Plastic-free
  • Perfect for hot and cold beverages
  • Holds water well without breakdown for longer hours
  • Comes with 240 cups

Cons:

  • Gets soggy after multiple uses
  • May not hold iced drinks well

3. ECO SOUL Compostable Plant-Starch With Compostable Lids

Product Rating Product Rating Placeholder
4.3 out of 5
ECO SOUL Compostable Plant-Starch With Compostable Lids
ECO SOUL Compostable Plant-Starch With Compostable Lids

If you are looking for high-quality biodegradable coffee cups with lids, then we vouch for the ECO SOUL Compostable Plant-Starch With Compostable Lids. You are assured that you can take it on the go or just cover it with the lid to prevent heat from escaping. ECO SOUL disposable coffee cups are made from 100% sugarcane, guaranteeing that your coffee cup will decompose once you dispose of it. 

Pros:

  • The eco-disposable cups come with lids
  • They are Sturdy
  • Leak-proof
  • Keeps beverage warm
  • It doesn’t become soggy after a few uses

Cons:

  • You may need a sleeve as the cups become very hot with hot drinks

4. I.mTerra Biodegradable Disposable Drinking Coffee Cups

Product Rating Product Rating Placeholder
4.5 out of 5
I.mTerra Biodegradable Disposable Drinking Coffee Cup
I.mTerra Biodegradable Disposable Drinking Coffee Cup

The I.mTerra Biodegradable Disposable Drinking Coffee Cup is an eco-friendly, biodegradable coffee cup made from upcycled natural sugarcane bagasse fiber. The cups are highly sustainable since sugarcane is a highly sustainable alternative to plastic or paper. 

This biodegradable coffee cup holds both hot and cold beverages well. It also has a leakproof design, so you don’t experience accidents while carrying or drinking your coffee or other beverages.

Pros:

  • It is heat resistant
  • It sturdy
  • It is leak-proof
  • Great for hot and cold drinks

Cons:

  • Not microwave safe

5. Compostable Coffee Cups by Living Balance

Product Rating Product Rating Placeholder
4.7 out of 5
Compostable Coffee Cups by Living Balance
Compostable Coffee Cups by Living Balance

Looking for eco-friendly and biodegradable coffee cups that you can use with your coffee makers, cold brews and espressos, and all other beverages? We found the Compostable Coffee Cups by Living Balance to have passed the test. These eco-friendly coffee cups are certified by Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and are free from petrochemical derivatives, and are plant-based. 

The cups also have a double layer of insulation that protects your hands from heat, thus no need for additional sleeves for protection. The cups also come with lids that fit securely, ensuring you experience no mess whenever you are on the go.

Pros:

  • It has a leak-proof design
  • It has double seams to protect your hands when carrying hot liquids
  • It is sturdy
  • It is barista friendly
  • The lids are compostable
  • These compostable cups can handle liquid temperatures up to 203°F (95°C)
  • The integrated sleeves keep the contents hot

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe

Recyclable, Biodegradable Hot Drink Cups

Product Rating Product Rating Placeholder
4.6 out of 5
Recyclable, Biodegradable Hot Drink Cups
Recyclable, Biodegradable Hot Drink Cups

Pros

  • Convenient and easy to use, with no need for cleaning or maintenance
  • Biodegradable cups are environmentally friendly and can break down naturally over time without causing harm to the environment
  • Can be customized with branding or designs, making them ideal for marketing or promotional purposes
  • Generally more affordable compared to other types of reusable cups, making them accessible to a wide range of consumers

Cons

  • Recycling facilities may not be available in all areas or may not accept paper cups due to their polyethylene lining, which can be difficult to separate and recycle
  • Biodegradable cups may take a long time to break down and require specific conditions to do so properly, such as exposure to high temperatures and moisture

Bamboo Coffee Cups

Product Rating Product Rating Placeholder
4.3 out of 5
Bamboo Coffee Cups
Bamboo Coffee Cups

Pros

  • Biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • 100% compostable in backyard,plastic free,tree free, green and sustainable
  • Heavyduty and sturdy
  • Perfect for beverage below 170°F (or 75°C), not suitable for boiling water

Cons

  • May not be suitable for use with hot drinks if the user is sensitive to high temperatures or has difficulty handling hot surfaces, as the cup may become hot to the touch
  • The production of bamboo cups may require a significant amount of energy and resources, contributing to carbon emissions and deforestation
  • More expensive compared to other types of disposable cups, which may not be affordable for everyone.

Features to Look for in Eco-Friendly Disposable Coffee Cups

If you have made the conscious decision to use environmentally-friendly products like eco-friendly coffee cups, you need to look for the following:

  • Material used
  • Certifications that show the products used are eco-friendly
  • Lid and sleeve
  • Size

Material Used

Ensure the cups you choose are made from bamboo, sugarcane, recycled paper, or cornstarch-based materials. Some companies may use plastic lids, which are not eco-friendly. Only purchase your eco-friendly coffee cups from companies that use eco-friendly materials.

Certifications

Look for ecoffee cups that have been certified as eco-friendly by reputable organizations. These cups will have certifications from the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), the Canadian Organic Regime, or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), etc.

Capacity

This boils down to your personal preference, If you are a coffee lover who gallops larger volumes of coffee, then you may need recyclable coffee cups with lids that are more than 16 oz. If you consume less coffee, then a small 16 oz cup may be perfect for you. 

Lid and sleeve

Lids will help protect your coffee from spilling, and you should check reviews online to see whether lids fit tightly to prevent leaks. Also, consider the environmental impact of the lid and sleeve by ensuring they are made from eco-friendly materials.

Conclusion

Choosing ecoffee cups for the office, parties, home, or to take on the go is crucial for every environmentally conscious coffee enthusiast around the world. Since we contribute a lot of waste when using plastic coffee cups, environmentally friendly coffee cups are a great way to enjoy your coffee without impacting the world negatively. What’s my choice? The Compostable Coffee Cups by Living Balance does it for me since it is barista friendly, doesn’t get soggy fast, and can be reused severally during the day if you need caffeine refills.

Sustainable coffee habits

Author

I'm a mom of two boys and a freelance writer who loves to travel and spend time at the beach. When I'm not chasing after my kids or working on my next writing project, you can usually find me sipping on a delicious cup of coffee while reading a book. I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting coffee shops, whenever I am exploring a new town or city.

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