2.5 billion coffee cups are used every year, 500,000 of those are littered every day and only 1 in 400 is recycled. Perhaps it’s no surprise that takeaway coffee cups are the latest single use item to be getting bad press following the Environmental Audit Committee report on their usage.

The report calls for a 25p “latte levy” as well as a better recycling facilities but is a higher price and more recycling the best answer for consumers? Giki ran some sums to find out.


Taking the top 3 coffee shops in the UK (Costa, Starbucks and Café Nero) a regular cappuccino costs, on average, £2.28.  All of these chains use locally produced milk and also source their beans responsibly. However, even with plans to recycle cups in store (which seems to run counter to the idea it’s a take-away) most cups go to landfill. That means anyone drinking 3 coffees a week uses 156 cups, plastic lids and sleeves giving a total of 468 things to throw away every year.

 So what options does a coffee lover have? For most of us giving up for 2018 is not one of them. Giki has looked at various other ideas to find the coffee tipping point where not only are you saving on landfill but you’re also saving money. #getmorechange from your shopping.



Home made

Organic home made


The simplest option is to buy a reusable cup. By saving around 25p every time you buy the cost of the cup pays for itself in just 42 visits. You’ll be done by Easter. Right away you’ll be saving on waste as well. By the end of the year you’ll have amassed £26.25 of total savings but your key reward is not just the caffeine hit but also the feelgood for doing the right thing.

How many cups to save money and cut landfill?


To really save money making it yourself is the most attractive option. Upfront you’ll need a cafetiere and the reusable cup but once you start brewing it all pays for itself in just 13 cups. You can also choose and change your coffee making sure to buy Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade certified brands. Download the Giki app to help you scan and find the products you want. The reason for such a quick payback is simple: the milk and coffee only cost 53 pence per cup.

Over a year this means you’ll save an impressive £205.44 on top of all the landfill kudos. Take it a step further with organic milk and organic coffee and it’s still only 16 cups to the tipping point.

 So it’s really up to you – give up coffee and feel awful, change nothing and feel a little bit guilty or make a change, save money and save waste and feel fully caffeinated and content. 

Download the UK Giki app now!