Coffee cups reduce waste

A Vernon café has launched a reusable coffee mug program designed to vastly reduce the amount of waste of to-go drink orders.

Ratio Coffee and Pastry drew inspiration from a program that has has successfully garnered high levels of acceptance in Australia and other countries.

The HuskeeCup is made from repurposed coffee husks and non-toxic, BPA-free plastic. The cup features ridges on the outside to keep the warmth away from your hands like a sleeve. The cups come in three sizes and come with a universal lid.

“Cafés are stocking these cups so you can come in and they’re part of the HuskeeSwap,” Ratio Coffee and Pastry owner Andrew McWilliam said. “You can order your coffee and you can bring your dirty mug, and you get a fresh, clean one. It keeps your drink warm, and it’s nice and sturdy.”

McWilliam said Ratio is the first café in the Okanagan to sell and support the HuskeeCup program, and others are joining the movement.

“We’re trying to get more and more cafés excited about it. Triumph Coffee down the road is ordering a bunch, and we just got a shipment of 50 to Kal Tire,” McWilliam said.

The extra twist in this program is the “dirty cup” exchange.

“Every day you can use this cup, take it to the office, you don’t have to bother with taking it home to clean it and have it ready to go for the next day at work,” McWilliam said. “You just bring it in dirty and we’ll give you a commercially clean, fresh cup to use for your daily coffee.”

The cups are $20 to purchase from participating cafe retailers.

McWilliam said he encourages all other cafés to join the program. He can be reached at for more information.

“Hopefully, the idea is we will eliminate a lot of paper waste, sleeve waste and lid waste,” McWilliam said.

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