These low-emissions travel cups are solar-fired

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

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Pottery for the Planet

There’s an irony with most reusable travel cups on the market: While people purchase them intending to save the planet and prevent single-use disposables in landfills, some are still made of petroleum-based plastic that is not recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable.

Pottery for the Planet begs to differ. The Australian pottery business seeks to tackle climate change “one sip at a time” and has launched a limited edition Sunny Day Cup, the country’s first commercially solar-fired travel cup. 

The company stated it installed 98 solar panels in its studio last year to harness enough solar energy to power its solar-fired electric kiln and manufacture eco-friendly cups.

 “We are transforming our business and using our resources to inspire change,” said Renton Bishopric, director at Pottery for the Planet. 

He added that achieving a low-emissions travel cup involved big changes in the pottery’s manufacturing process and transitioning its production from a gas-fired kiln to a solar-fired electric kiln. 

The pottery’s products are handmade, with packaging made from recycled cardboard, reused byproducts, and consumer waste. However, it’s worth noting that each cup comes with a silicone lid, which – while a better material than plastic – isn’t sustainable.

According to the company, operating a wholesale distribution model helped minimise freight packaging and carbon emissions. In addition, it implemented local initiatives to encourage customers to reuse, share, and repurpose their discarded packaging.

“We’ve already prevented 40.7 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere so far – that’s the same as planting 790 trees – and that figure is only going to grow,” Bishopric added.

For every purchase of a Suny Day Cup, 50 per cent of its profits are donated to the Australian climate change communications organisation, Climate Council.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.