Hot Cups + Lids


For on-site dining:

Serve dine-in guests with reusable mugs.

Train your staff to ask guests if they would prefer takeaway or dine-in.

If dishwashing infrastructure needs to be installed, the pay-back period can be less than a year. 

Legislation is appearing in California to mandate that sit-down food outlets must provide reusable foodware for on-site dining if dishwashing capabilities are available.

For takeaway: 

Allow customers to bring their own hot cups (BYO). 

Sell hot cups, thermoses, or mugs on-site if applicable. 

There are professional reuse systems that offer commercial-grade dishwashing services and handle the logistics and washing required by reusable cup programs. Some of these systems are specific to coffee shop chains while some are available city-wide to any interested participating venues. Explore what is available in your market.

COVID Tip: Use contactless pour methods to serve beverages.

COVID Tip: Implement best practices to sanitize reusable containers alongside contactless drop-off systems if necessary. Separate clean and dirty cups with well-marked trays or containers. Best practices include: high heat sanitation, approved disinfectants, and dedicated used cup receptacle. 


When reusables are not applicable, choose disposable options that are compatible with available waste management infrastructure.

Approved disposable materials

Approved disposable materials may include: paper with non-plastic liner (or water-based coating), agricultural waste, bamboo, or other fiber-based options. 

There are lid-less options that use origami to fold the cup. 

Confirm that your chosen option does not have harmful chemicals in the linings or coatings such as chemicals in the Bisphenols family (of which BPA is a part) or PFAS. 


Most hot cups are lined with a plastic lining that makes them non-recyclable and most disposable hot cup lids are single-use plastic.