Plastic cups from bubble tea, milk tea, Starbucks, and the like are often thrown away into the streets and dumpsites. The problem lies in the plastic material – most of them are not biodegradable so they end up clogging our soil and causing a flood. The toxic materials can also poison some of our plants and wildlife, which is alarming.
In some cases, there are ways to use eco-friendly products for holding drinks without compromising quality. This is why you may be looking for the best eco-friendly cups for your business meeting, party, gathering, or your actual business.
Among the in-demand businesses today include iced drinks, such as coffee, milk tea, bubble tea, and the like, so why not try these cups so you won’t badly impact the environment while you earn bucks? After all, plastic cups are one of the most common pollutants that we toss away into the oceans and back to nature.
Best Biodegradable and Environment Friendly Cups Reviews
Here are our top picks for the best eco-friendly cups:
1. Modern Innovations Premium Stainless Steel Cups
We chose these drinking cups as our top pick mainly because they are made with stainless steel – something that will not impact the environment since they are reusable, durable, and do not leak out harsh chemicals like plastic.
These cups come in a set of 5 with 16 ounces of space each. They are all stackable and are BPA-free and food-safe. Made with 18/8 stainless steel, they can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher and can be used for picnics, camping, and the like. They also retain the temperature of your drink for a long time.
These cups also don’t contain phthalates, lead, and other harsh metals and chemicals, so they’re quite eco-friendly. What’s more, they are standard-sized at 5 inches tall, so they will most likely fit alongside your other cups. Because of the sleek satin finish, it not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also makes it durable and easy to wash or rinse off when dirty or after use.
2. Repurpose 100% Compostable Plant-Based Clear Cold Cup
For those who are looking for disposable cups, these ones are compostable, meaning they can be thrown out and they will be biodegradable – they won’t clog up a landfill. They can be used for cold drinks and they generate less CO2 than your average plastic cup.
Because they are BPA-free and are not made with petroleum products, they are eco-friendly. As a matter of fact, these cups are made with vegetable-based ink as compared to oil-based ones. This also means that they don’t have that plastic-like taste, which is living proof that your child will be safe against harsh chemicals leaking out from the plastic cup to the drinking water (or beverage).
These cups come in a 50-piece pack with 16 ounces of space each. You can use them for parties and you don’t have to worry about your guests throwing them out somewhere because they are compostable and will not impact the environment due to being plant-based in its materials. The company states that their cups can be composted within 90 days or so.
3. Living Balance Compostable Disposable Coffee Cups
If you are starting out your coffee shop business, you may want to check out these coffee cups that come with a to-go lid – all of which are disposable, compostable, and eco-friendly. This is because they are all made with biodegradable products and are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). The materials that were used are all plant-based and not petrochemical-based.
Each cup is at 16 ounces and each pack has 75 cups. You can use them for parties and meetings as well due to their disposable yet compostable nature. You can even use them if you have coffee makers, Keurig K-cups, and espresso machines, as they have a standard size.
The cups are all made with a spill-proof design so the to-go coffee won’t be causing stains on your favorite shirt (or necktie). Due to the temperature-resistant material, it can be used for other drinks that are hot, aside from coffee. Not only do they come with the cup lids – but they also come with the stirring sticks for your coffee-to-go!
4. Juvale Ice Cream Sundae Cups
Want some biodegradable, eco-friendly, and compostable ice cream cups for your children’s birthday party? This one contains 100 in a set and you can use it not just for ice cream, but also for frozen yogurt and other desserts.
You can even use it for your own business, let’s say, a dessert-serving or ice cream business. Those with bakeries can also use it for their pastries due to the lightweight yet durable design of 2 x 3.1 inches. The interior also has leak-resistant features to help keep the ice cream contained inside without making a mess.
We also like the fact that they can be used in the microwave for reheating anything, such as soups. Each cup is at 8 ounces and they are all BPA-free while being disposable. The food-grade paper has been used so they are absolutely safe for parties. You can even serve other dessert or snack items inside, other than ice cream, such as donuts.
5. NYHI Set of 100 Brown Disposable Paper Cups
These paper cups can act as teacups due to their white lids, which can help keep the drinks from spilling. Each 8-ounce cup has an insulated so whoever carries it won’t get sore fingers from holding hot liquid, especially tea.
You can use it for both tea and coffee, as well as many other hot drinks, such as hot chocolate. All of them are plastic-free and are BPA-free as well. The cardboard paper doesn’t get soggy due to its durable build. There’s even an insulated inner lining so it can be okay to use for hot drinks and even soup.
The design of the paper ripple also adds some aesthetic design to the cups. You can use them for your business or even your own party. Aside from that, you can also choose from various cup sizes, other than 8 ounces, such as 10, 12, and 16 ounces for larger beverages.
6. Yes!Fresh Special Green Grass Design
Are you looking for paper hot cups? This one not only has green grass on its design but it is also eco-friendly due to being made with biodegradable and compostable material. At 8 ounces for each cup, a pack contains 50 cups in total. They can be used for parties or businesses, as well as office meetings.
Easily stackable, these cups can withstand hot drinks, such as coffee, tea, and chocolate, and they won’t get soggy or leak out. They also do not have any plastic liner or coating so they can be quite eco-friendly unlike regular plastic cups out there.
Since they are made of paper, they can be disposable and are biodegradable for composting – great for camping and other outdoor events. Their sizes are about 3 inches high and 2 inches in diameter. We also have an article about eco friendly paper towels you might want to check.
7. Restaurantware 12-OZ Hot Beverage Cups with Ripple Wall Design
For those who want cold cups to start their own beverage business, this can be an eco-friendly choice – just add an eco-friendly cup (sold separately). Aside from your conventional cold coffee or tea, it can also be used for juice, cocktails, frappuccino, smoothies, shakes, and the like.
Each pack contains 500 cups so it can be helpful for those who are starting a business. It even has many different colors to match the color scheme of your brand or product. Each cup is at 12 ounces and can be used for both hot and cold drinks.
Due to the double-walled insulation, it can maintain the temperature of your drinks while the design can keep it leak-proof. The material used is 100% paper for all of the cups to make them biodegradable.
Guidelines to Follow While Purchasing an Eco-Friendly Cup
When choosing the best eco-friendly cups, we have a few FAQs that might help you in looking for one:
Why should I buy eco-friendly cups?
Here are reasons why you should go green on your Starbucks-inspired cup for coffee or tea:
- You lessen the plastic waste on the environment. Whether you use these cups for a party or for a business, not everyone will make these cups into a recycled project, such as Christmas décor, and most of them will just throw them away.
- They’re mostly biodegradable and compostable. Most of the eco-friendly cups you will see in the market are made of paper. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t durable, because most of them will have a different material to replace plastic liners that will be okay for composting. This can mean a lot if you are maintaining a business that’s related to cold coffee or hot drinks since insulation liners are important in a cup.
- They don’t contain harsh chemicals such as BPA. An eco-friendly cup usually doesn’t contain BPA because it’s not only harmful to you but also to the environment. As same as food container, most of them are made without chemicals since they are from food-grade materials. This ensures a healthier way of drinking your favorite beverages, too.
- Reusable ones can last a long time. If you ever purchase one that is meant to be reusable, such as our top pick, which is a stainless steel cup set, this can help reduce your overall costs in buying cups. These cups can be taken with you on your picnic and they don’t have to end up in a landfill. They also don’t break apart easily unlike plastic (but breakable) cups that crack due to temperature changes.
How do I choose the best eco-friendly cups?
Here are features to spot on cups that are supposedly eco-friendly:
- No plastic or harsh chemicals. Look for cups that are made without lead, phthalates, BPA, and the like, so they can be good for you and planet Earth.
- Leak-proof and easy to hold. Cups that have special designs, such as vertical linings, can keep it easy to hold when it’s too hot or too cold. Leak-proof parts are also important if you want to use it for your business to build a good reputation with the customers.
- Stackable and smartly-designed. Stackable cups are important because they can make your working space much cleaner. It also means that you can keep them in smaller cabinets.
- Fits well into your coffee or tea maker. For those who are looking for eco-friendly cups for their personal coffee or tea maker, or for a business that they manage or own, make sure you know the diameter and height of the cups before buying.
How do I use these eco-friendly cups?
To use them, simply pour any liquid as recommended on them, depending on how they were meant to be used. For instance, some cups are meant for both hot and cold drinks while others are only meant for cold drinks. It depends on their materials because some paper cups can get soggy if they don’t have double-wall insulations or leak-proof lining.
If the cups that you buy do not have lids on them, simply purchase an eco-friendly cup lid separately. However, make sure that you measure the diameter so that they can fit well into your cup.
For those who want to use their eco-friendly cups for their business, make sure that they fit well into your coffee systems, such as the Keurig K-cups, or your coffee maker or French press.
To wrap it up, our top pick for the best eco-friendly cups is the Modern Innovations Premium Stainless Steel Cups because it is made from 18/8 stainless steel without harsh chemicals, phthalates, lead, and BPA. They are reusable so you give out zero waste to the environment. Because they are stackable, they can take up less space and can be taken with you on camping or picnic trips.
Unlike the other disposable (yet eco-friendly cups) that we chose in this review, these ones are reusable so we believe that they work best if you really don’t want to throw anything away to the dumpsite, so you can do your part to help the environment.
Name: Rebecca Tarvin
Discipline: Integrative biology
Degrees: B.A., Biology, Boston University, 2010; Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin,2017
Rebecca Tarvin is broadly interested in integrating studies of natural history with molecular genomics and phylogenetics. Specifically, she aims to elucidate causal genetic mechanisms underlying novel traits, characterize phenotypic diversification at macro and micro-evolutionary scales, and identify factors that promote and constrain biodiversity.
She also likes to write about eco-friendly lifestyle and other material alternatives that are eco-friendly, aside from other ways to save Mother Earth