Going Green: KeepCup

Posted: 14 June 2019 9:09 am

Hands holding a glass coffee cup.

The Melbourne-based company that's making reusable coffee cups cool and convenient.

If you look around during your weekday commute to work, you're likely to see plenty of people with coffee cups in hand. While this includes a huge number of disposable cups, a growing number of people are wrapping their hands around reusable coffee cups instead.

As a brand, KeepCup has become eponymous with the reusable cup movement. So, we caught up with the company's co-founder and managing director, Abigail Forsyth, to get a taste of what drives her and KeepCup to be green.

KeepCup co-founder and managing director Abigail Forsyth.

KeepCup co-founder and managing director Abigail Forsyth. Image: Albert Comper/Supplied

What does your company do and how is it green?

So, we were the first company to create a barista-standard reusable cup. We started in 2009 and sell cups that fit under espresso machines. We tried to make it as easy as possible to incorporate into busy café environments.

The cups range in size from 4oz, 6oz, 8oz and 16oz to replicate the size of disposable cups and they come in glass and plastic. We also innovate by looking at what's best for the occasion and what you're doing. So our glass KeepCups are popular as a café-to-desk option, while the plastic ones are robust, lightweight and have the lowest environmental impact because they can be recycled at the end of their life.

What inspires you and your business to be green?

The global environmental crisis we find ourselves in. Waste, pollution, destruction of the oceans.

Why is being green personally important to you?

Because I want to be solving problems not creating them. We talk about sustainability, but it's about being responsible and driving what that is. We can innovate to be part of a circular economy; be responsible for a team.

It's about more than a product, it's about how you behave as a business. Who I am at work is the same as at home.

Could you describe one small step people could take towards being greener?

Buying less stuff is the most important thing. Just buy less stuff. So, I love salt and vinegar chips but I know all that packaging isn't good, so I limit how often I buy them.

What is one resource that you think people should read/watch/consume to understand more about sustainability and going green?

I think The Guardian's Green Light is good to read, because it gives a positive and negative spin. So I feel like the reporting is trustworthy and gives you the good and the bad.

The book that catalysed things for me is Collapse by Jared Diamond.

Reading that was the first time I thought, you know, that our society could collapse – and a lot of it is related to our cultural norms.

For example, it talks about how the Norse went to Greenland and saw the Inuit eating whales [for sustenance]. But the Norse wouldn't eat them, so they brought over chickens and cows, which all died, and then they all died too.

So we sometimes have to make changes that are hard but can lead to our survival.

Going Green is a series that sheds light on companies, organisations and initiatives that have a focus on sustainability and ethics. We ask a representative from each company the same five questions so you can get a snapshot of the work they are doing to help protect the planet.

Want more info and tips for making greener choices? Check out the Finder Green homepage.

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Image credits: Getty Images, Albert Comper (supplied)

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