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Made to last

It’s better to have fewer, high quality things and use them well.

Our purpose has defined our business since the first KeepCup was sold, and we continue to be challenged as the world around us changes.

We cannot purchase our way to a sustainable future, but we believe in having few, high quality things and using them well. Fewer. Better.

Our purpose has defined our business since the first KeepCup was sold, and we continue to be challenged as the world around us changes. We cannot purchase our way to a sustainable future, but we believe in having few, high quality things and using them well. Fewer. Better.

Fit for purpose design

Your KeepCup is made to last. We carefully consider purpose, materials and end of life when creating our products.

When you visit us, you can meet the people who hand assemble our products in our local warehouses – in Melbourne, Los Angeles and London.

We create products that are fit for purpose; to reduce and replace the use of disposable cups.

KeepCups are designed to facilitate reuse – for example, our press on lid is the result of precise engineering and manufacturing, to increase ease of use in busy café environments for those who make and drink coffee.

This connection to purpose informs our philosophy of choosing less, and it’s is an important step change in transforming to a circular economy.

Replaceable components

KeepCup components are detachable and replaceable. Ordering replacement parts from KeepCup – lids, bands – is much more energy efficient and less wasteful than buying a whole new KeepCup.

REPLACEMENT PARTS

Connection to community

Our approach is hands on. Our products are the result of a collaboration with our design team, tooling engineers and manufacturers. Together we create products that are iconic, functional and enjoyable to use.

We invest in long term relationships with our suppliers. This is important, not just to deliver quality products, but to invest in sustainable practices in every step of the process.

We are committed to local manufacture, making all plastic KeepCup components for local markets in the UK and Australia. Packaging and assembly are done locally in our Australian, UK and US hubs to reduce the environmental footprint of our business.

Broadly speaking, local manufacturing builds better communities, advances responsible supply chain, and is better for the planet.

Interested in our sustainable approach to manufacturing and supply chain?

Read Responsible business


Material
choice

Material
choice

Plastic

The war on plastic has energised us to change our habits, which is fantastic. But plastic is a symptom, not the cause. The problem is the volume, all this “stuff” – too much, used too little.

The polyethylene lining in most disposable cups means there is enough plastic in 20 disposable cups to make one plastic KeepCup. It’s about longevity and volume, choosing the materials that suit your use, and using that product, over and over again.

We use plastic because it’s lightweight, unbreakable and fit for purpose for coffee on the go. It has low embodied energy in manufacture, and exact tolerances, which reduces waste on the factory floor. It’s also lightweight and stackable, which reduces the environmental cost of freight.

Plastic is recyclable, but this system is in crisis all over the world. We chose plastic because it is readily collected in many countries, but we now know this does not mean it is actually recycled. This invites a larger conversation around the circular economy, product stewardship and the environmental policy of government at all levels. This conversation is the next step in our journey.

We independently test all components annually to ensure they comply with global food safety standards and are BPA / BPS free.

 

Glass

We use tempered soda lime glass; it is durable, shock resistant, dishwasher safe and can withstand high temperatures. Although the glass is toughened, it is breakable.

Tempered glass can be recycled, but it must be heated to higher temperatures than normal glass jars and bottles. Again, while glass can be recycled, due to volume it is often crushed and used as landfill. As breakage is the only reason for glass tumblers to be discarded, and broken glass cannot be recycled, we choose to use tempered glass for durability.

We independently test our glass annually to ensure it is tempered to standard, as well lead and cadmium free.





We use tempered soda lime glass; it is durable, shock resistant, dishwasher safe and can withstand high temperatures. Although the glass is toughened, it is breakable.

Tempered glass can be recycled, but it must be heated to higher temperatures than normal glass jars and bottles. Again, while glass can be recycled, due to volume it is often crushed and used as landfill. As breakage is the only reason for glass tumblers to be discarded, and broken glass cannot be recycled, we choose to use tempered glass for durability.

We independently test our glass annually to ensure it is tempered to standard, as well lead and cadmium free.

 

Cork

Natural, renewable and biodegradable, cork is one of the most sustainable materials on earth – it’s harvested from living trees.

Our bands are upcycled from the waste by-product of wine cork production in Portugal. The cork is bound using a vegan food grade polyurethane. The bands are water resistant, antibacterial and heat resistant.

The cork is bound using a vegan food grade polyurethane.

The bonding material is 8% of the product, we are currently validating that the cork can be buried or biodegraded in household compost at end of life.








Natural, renewable and biodegradable, cork is one of the most sustainable materials on earth – it’s harvested from living trees.

Our bands are upcycled from the waste by-product of wine cork production in Portugal. The cork is bound using a vegan food grade polyurethane. The bands are water resistant, antibacterial and heat resistant.

The cork is bound using a vegan food grade polyurethane.

The bonding material is 8% of the product, we are currently validating that the cork can be buried or biodegraded in household compost at end of life.

 

Silicone

We use silicone as a separable component as an insulating barrier; it has great non-slip and thermal resistant qualities, and is BPS and BPA free.

The base material of silicone is sand, however because it sets with heat, once the molten silicone material is set, it cannot be remolded.

Silicone cannot be recycled in domestic recycling, it requires a dedicated commercial collection. Where a commercial recycling closed loop exists, silicone can be desiccated and downcycled.








We use silicone as a separable component as an insulating barrier; it has great non-slip and thermal resistant qualities, and is BPS and BPA free.

The base material of silicone is sand, however because it sets with heat, once the molten silicone material is set, it cannot be remolded.

Silicone cannot be recycled in domestic recycling, it requires a dedicated commercial collection. Where a commercial recycling closed loop exists, silicone can be desiccated and downcycled.

 


Other
materials

Other
materials

Bamboo

We have been campaigning against single use plastics for ten years. We emphatically agree that we need curb the global production and use of plastic. The contribution of single plastic packaging as a proportion of global plastic production is estimated at 40% of total annual production.

We have considered alternative materials like bamboo and PLA, but have not pursued these materials due to the materials that bond them, their lifespan and their end of life options.


Bamboo is an excellent fast growing fibre, but when use for waterproof, food safe vessels, it is most commonly bonded with melamine. The bonding agent is 20-60% of the end product. The melamine content means that these materials cannot be composted or recycled as many manufacturers suggest.

Similarly many of the alternative fibre products, like “coffee ground” cups are bonded with polypropylene.


We continue to use plastics as they are easy to use and clean, arguably more food safe than other materials, and recyclable at end of life.