Refill Reading reducing coffee cup waste

Primary interest
Nature and Environment

Refill Reading is a grassroots campaign started by Transition Town Reading. We are aiming to reduce the amount of disposable coffee cups going to landfill by encouraging people in our town to use reusable cups in cafes.  This project is running in partnership with local cafes across Reading and has the support of Reading Borough Council.

Why are we doing it?

It is estimated that in the UK, around eight million disposable cups are handed out by cafes every day, or approximately 2.5 billion annually. Most of these cups are not recyclable due to the plastic lining within the paper cup, and so the waste cups go to landfill, where they may take up to thirty years to break down. For more information see

So what’s the solution? If you want a coffee on the go, bring your own cup! No excuse for single use!

What are we doing?

Our campaign has two main elements:

  • Encouraging and promoting the use of reusable cups through discounts at local cafes

Not only is it good for the planet, it’s good for your wallet too! Participating local cafes are offering discounts for takeaway drinks if you bring your own cup. Typical discounts are 20p per drink (but this does vary with cafe). Cafes offering discounts have the Refill Reading logo in the window.

Selling Refill Reading reusable cups 

We are selling Refill Reading reusable Ecoffee cups through participating local cafes. Ecoffee cups are made from sustainable, naturally organic, naturally sterile bamboo fibre. The bamboo is sourced from sustainably managed plantations in China. The lid and sleeve are made from food-grade silicone. The cups are 12oz in size and are  light, hard-wearing and dishwasher safe (though not suitable for microwave use).

There are 250 limited edition Refill Reading cups, selling for the introductory campaign launch price of £5 at participating cafes. If sales are successful, these will be restocked but at a higher retail value, so to make the most of this great offer, pop along to your nearest participating cafe and grab yourself a Refill Reading coffee cup today!

Follow us on Twitter @RefillReading

The full range of Refill Reading cups – available for £5 from participating cafes.

Who is involved?

Cafes across Reading are part of the scheme, including:

You can find your nearest Refill Reading cafe on our interactive map below.


We have kindly received funding for the scheme from Reading Borough Council through the Reading Climate Action Network. RCAN welcome applications for other environmentally friendly community based projects.