The re­us­able cof­fee cup you squash and put in your bag

Daily Mail - - Saturday Life - By Sean Poul­ter Con­sumer Af­fairs Edi­tor

IF YOU’VE ever felt guilty about throw­ing away your empty cof­fee cup on your morn­ing com­mute, then this could be just the thing.

A Bri­tish en­tre­pre­neur has in­vented a re­us­able plas­tic cup that col­lapses to fit per­fectly in your pocket.

The in­ven­tor, An­drew Brooks, hopes that the Pok­ito will re­place the dis­pos­able cups given away by Costa, Star­bucks, Caffe Nero and Pret a Manger.

The prob­lem with the high street cups is that they are coated in a plas­tic mem­brane, which means they can­not be re­cy­cled along with other pa­per waste.

As a re­sult, some 2.5 bil­lion are dumped ev­ery year, end­ing up in land­fill where they take up to 30 years to rot down, while re­leas­ing green­house gases.

Green cam­paign­ers have urged re­tail­ers to change the de­sign to make them eas­ily re­cy­clable. How­ever, an even bet­ter op­tion would be a shift to re­us­able cups.

En­vi­ron­men­tal econ­o­mist, Chris Sher­ring­ton, of waste ex­perts Euno­mia, said: ‘In­creas­ing sin­gleuse cup re­cy­cling rates is of course a pos­i­tive step, but the fo­cus on this de­flects from the real so­lu­tion to this prob­lem.

‘ We should be in­cen­tivis­ing con­sumers en­joy­ing cof­fees “on the go” to take re­us­able cups.’

The Pok­ito ad­justs to three sizes (grande, medio and espresso) and scrunches up small enough to fit in a pocket, bag or brief­case.

It is tested to last for 1,500-plus uses and is also dish­washer-proof.

Mr Brooks came up with the idea while fish­ing off the west coast of Canada in the sum­mer of 2012. He saw huge pine forests, planted and felled sim­ply to pro­duce dis­pos­able pa­per cups and be­gan to won­der if there was a bet­ter way.

Cur­rent travel mugs do of­fer an al­ter­na­tive but they are bulky by na­ture and of­ten end up at the back of a cup­board af­ter a few uses.

The Pok­ito has a cen­tre band de­signed for strength and in­su­la­tion. It col­lapses down to 4.5cm, mak­ing it easy to carry or stack in a cup­board. The cup has patent-pend­ing fea­tures such as built-in in­su­la­tion and a clip- down, spill- proof lid, which means no leaks.

Mr Brooks said: ‘Grow­ing mil­lions of trees to man­u­fac­ture bil­lions of cups for a few min­utes of convenience has to be con­sid­ered a waste­ful and eco­log­i­cally unsound prac­tice. I do be­lieve there has to be a bet­ter way.

‘We can still en­joy our daily in­dul­gence and man­age to safe­guard the en­vi­ron­ment for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.’

Mr Brooks is us­ing the Kick­starter crowd­fund­ing web­site to raise £12,000 to pro­duce the Pok­ito, which will sell for £15.

Green al­ter­na­tive: The col­lapsi­ble cup comes in three sizes and can be used at least 1,500 times

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