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Sustainability at bru.

The materials we use, as well as how far they've had to travel and how our customers dispose of them determine the environmental sustainability of our products. 

The main ingredients...

stainless steel tumbler manufacture bru factory

Stainless steel- stainless steel makes up the bulk of our products. As with all metals, stainless steel is energy intensive to produce AKA high embodied carbon. On the upside, it's extremely durable and a highly valued material for recycling because it can be melted down and re-formed over and over again without reduction in quality. Because of this (according to some Googling), over 50% of stainless steel is made from recycled scrap metal therefore significantly reducing the embodied carbon. 

We don't know what percentage of the stainless steel used for the manufacture of our products is from recycled sources however, but we have found out it's possible to source 100% recycled stainless steel if ordering sufficient quantities. This is something we're keeping in mind for future orders.

We encourage all owners of our cups and bottles to do their best to realise the full potential of stainless steel and look after their items to prolong their life by preventing scratching and staining, and that when they don't want to keep their cup or bottle any longer, that they take it (along with any other scrap metals) to a local recycling site that accepts metals or leave them out with a 'scrap metal' note outside their home where private scrap metal collectors drive around and collect these.

bru travel lid parts

Polypropylene (PP)- the lids of our Travel mugs and coffee cups are made out of PP which is a commonly used plastic. PP is one of the most environmentally safe plastics in terms of manufacture and waste disposal and it has the benefits of being durable, heat resistant, dishwasher safe and food contact safe. PP is recyclable however, we haven't yet been able to find any factories willing to accept small quantities of these. So, if you need to dispose of yours, the only realistic option for now is in your black bin along with un-recyclable waste. 

We have recently seen that a recycled PP source has been approved for use as a food contact material (eg as in the case of lids), which will significantly improve the sustainability aspect of the lids but as is mostly always the case for more bespoke materials, the prices can be prohibitive for small companies (that's us by the way!) as our orders are not large enough. Having said that, it's certainly on our radar and will be something we will be swapping to if we can.

stainless steel products

Silicone- we use a silicone disk at the bottom of our Travel mugs to prevent slipping and scratching of the base, as well as the silicone seals which are used in all our lids which help prevent leaking. Because silicone requires high temperatures and a small amount of fossil fuels for its manufacture, it's not exactly environmentally friendly but there isn't currently a better alternative to using silicone for these purposes. As is often the case with plastics, recycling is theoretically possible but large quantities are required so recycling of silicone is only an option for companies producing many tonnes of silicone waste. Silicone however, is very durable, food safe and temperature stable as well as dishwasher safe so the best thing to do is look after the seals by giving them an occasional deep clean so they can last as long as possible before you decide to purchase replacements. Disposal is currently tha same as for PP lids, in the general waste bin.

An excellent article regarding the sustainability of silicone can be read here: impact of silicone by Gittemary. 

The packaging...

Paper & card- When requesting any paper or card packaging and marketing materials form suppliers, we always specify FSC® certified products. Our paper and card packaging is un-laminated and can be recycled along with general household recycling. The kraft corrugated card boxes that the Travel mugs come in, can also be composted.

Link to more details on FSC here.

On top of that, we enquire about recycled as well as FSC certified and with plant based inks and we use these options whenever possible. However, the use of these is limited to when sourcing availability and cost allows.


Protective bags- having learned the hard way (more than once!) we know that a protective covering around the cups is absolutely necessary so that they don't get scratched during transport and shipping. For this, we have trialed various protective bags. TuV certified Home Compostable plant starch based bags are our first choice currently as they provide the best combination of protection/cost/eco-friendliness. Before we knew more, we recently made a little mistake and sourced some 'biodegradable' bags when we ran out of our previous 'compostable' bags and when we looked into this further, it turns out that for disposal purposes, these are best palced in the general waste bin, which as you can imagine, wasn't what we were going for! We still decided to use these


Our war on waste.

Reusing is better than recycling so we do re-use packaging whenever possible and encourage our customers to do the same. We're pretty hot on recycling too and make sure anything that can, gets recycled and we hope our customers do the same. Our packaging is 100% recyclable. We generally* use home compostable bags for protecting our cups and bottles from scratches, please dispose of these in your food waste bin. *Occasionally, there may be times we have to use something else so please check the writing on the packaging. 

Check out our blog post on product packaging for more info on environmental impact, best options and disposal.

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We're cutting our Carbon Emissions.

We are now in the final stages of receiving ClimatePartner's Carbon Neutral Product certification for our bru Travel mugs. The process of receiving this should highlight where we can reduce our impact on the environment and enable us to officially offset what we can't reduce to make these cups our first CARBON NEUTRAL product.

Check back here to see our progress.

We are very fortunate that our current company structure and premises allow us to keep our greenhouse gas emissions related to energy use and transport very low.