Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Cups: Recycled and Biodegradable Packaging for Drinks
Clear RPET Recyclable Cups

Transparent plastic cups are commonplace in the food service sector. Juice bars, cafés, street food vendors, and fast food restaurants use them to serve all kinds of cold beverages, from milkshakes, smoothies and bubble tea to fizzy drinks and alcohol.

Plastic cups are lightweight, inexpensive and highly convenient, but this convenience comes with an environmental cost. That’s why it’s our mission to help businesses find sustainable drink packaging that works for them.

Use this guide to help you find the recyclable, compostable and biodegradable drinks packaging you need. Let’s go!

Related: A Guide to Disposable Coffee Cups

An Introduction to Eco-Friendly Plastic Cups

Countless vendors are still using plastic drinks packaging, but single-use plastics are slowly being phased out in the UK. Plastic packaging has a damaging effect on the environment, clogging up landfills and polluting the oceans, but our range of eco-friendly packaging is either 100% recyclable or biodegradable and commercially compostable.

Here’s an overview of the eco-friendly alternatives to plastic cups you can buy today:

Size Best For We Recommend
7oz (200ml) Small Drinks

(e.g. Water, Juice, Fizzy Drinks, Spirits with Mixers, Wine).

7oz Clear Biodegradable Cup (PLA)
9oz (280ml) Small/Medium Drinks

(e.g. Water, Juice, Fizzy Drinks, Spirits with Mixers, Wine).

9oz Clear Biodegradable Cup (PLA)
10oz (300ml) Half-Pint Drinks

(e.g. Beer, Cider, Ale, Soft Drinks).

10oz Clear Biodegradable Cup (PLA)
12oz (360ml) Medium Drinks

(e.g. Drinks from Cans or Bottles, Fizzy Drinks, Craft Beer).

12oz Clear Biodegradable Cup (PLA)
16oz (473ml)  Large Drinks

(e.g. Milkshakes, Smoothies, Iced Coffees, Bubble Tea).

16oz Clear Biodegradable Smoothie Cup (PLA)
20oz Full Pint

(e.g. Beer, Cider, Ale, Non-Alcoholic Drinks on Draught).

20oz Clear Biodegradable Cup (PLA)

We also sell eco-friendly lids to match these cups in various styles to suit different beverages, from smoothies to carbonated drinks.

Check out our online shop and discover a full range of sustainable drinks packaging.

Alternatives to Plastic Cups for Cold Drinks

Several types of clear cups can easily replace regular plastic cups. Each has unique properties and you can dispose of them differently depending on your preferences and the waste management facilities available near you.

Here are some plastic cup alternatives to consider if you’re thinking of going green:

Biodegradable Cups: PLA (Polylactic Acid)

Our clear biodegradable cups are manufactured from Ingeo™ PLA bioplastic, a plant-based alternative to plastic that is 100% biodegradable. It shares all of the same properties of oil-based packaging but with the benefit of being commercially compostable.Available in five sizes, 7oz, 9oz, 12oz, 16oz and 20oz, to suit all kinds of cold beverages. Clear lids are sold separately and are available in flat and domed styles.

Recyclable Cups: RPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate)

These clear recyclable cups are made from 100% recycled plastic. They carry a much smaller carbon footprint than non-recycled plastic cups and are also recyclable, helping your packaging to go further.

If you don’t have access to commercial composting facilities, these are the best cups for you. Just make sure you have recycling points nearby.

Available in 9oz, 12oz and 16oz sizes, and handy half-pint and full-pint varieties. Lids are sold separately.

Related: 7 Advantages of Bioplastics for Food Packaging

Takeaway Food & Food Delivery 1

The Benefits of Using Alternatives to Plastic Cups

Plastic has many downsides, but it’s arguably one of the most effective materials for cold drinks. That’s why plastic packaging alternatives like our PLA biodegradable cups or RPET recyclable cups are crucial in securing a sustainable future for the food service industry.

There are numerous advantages of using plastic substitutes for disposable cups:

  • Environmental BenefitsRecycled materials require less energy to produce instead of making new products from raw materials. Recycled products have almost identical characteristics to non-recycled products, but they help reduce plastic waste and support sustainable practices.

    Bioplastics degrade naturally over time, compared to plastic products that take centuries to decompose. If you opt for plastic-free packaging, your cups will degrade naturally in three to six months under the right conditions.
  • Environmental Benefits — Plastic packaging is cheap. Previously, you could save money by opting for plastic cups, but the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) is set to make non-recycled plastics more expensive.

    The tax aims to discourage the use of non-recycled materials to protect the environment. Adopting recycled plastic or bioplastic packaging now gives your business an early advantage over slower-moving competitors.
  • Marketing Benefits — There are more takeaway establishments on the high street compared to just a few years ago. In such a competitive market, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition, and one way to do this is by using sustainable drinks packaging.

    You’ll give eco-conscious customers more reasons to buy from your brand while doing your bit for the environment.

Want more from your packaging? Get in touch for a free design quote.

Eco-Friendly Accessories for Cold Drinks

If you’re looking for plastic packaging alternatives, you aren’t limited to bioplastic cups. That’s why you should address every aspect of your brand’s packaging, including the peripheral items many people forget about.

Paper Straws

Since plastic straws are no longer available, paper straws make a practical, eco-friendly alternative. They’re ideal for soft drinks and are available in various sizes and styles, including red, blue, green and black stripes, and plain white and plain black varieties. 

Individually wrapped straws are ideal for takeaways too, keeping straws safe and sanitary until they’re unpackaged.

Biodegradable Straws (PLA)

These biodegradable straws are an excellent match for our biodegradable cups. Our Ingeo™ bioplastic straws are available in 7mm and 12mm sizes. The smaller straws are great for soft drinks, while the larger 12mm straws are best suited to milkshakes, smoothies and bubble tea. 

They’re also available individually wrapped for your customers’ convenience.

Cup Carriers

For orders of two or more drinks, cup carriers are essential. These compostable carriers are available in two-cup and four-cup varieties to help your customers carry their beverages. Each cup carrier is made from 100% compostable and biodegradable moulded pulp fibre.

Recycled Paper Napkins

Our cups are designed to prevent leaks and spills, but it’s a good idea to have paper napkins to hand, just in case. They’re made from 100% recycled paper and can be customised with your artwork and logo. We can produce napkins in various shapes, sizes and colours to boost your branding. Plus, we print our napkins with vegetable-based inks, making them safe for use with food and drinks.

Discover more eco-friendly takeaway packaging in our online shop.

raw pressed
Featured: Raw Pressed — Custom Printed Packaging from Takeaway Packaging

Case Study: Custom Printed Clear Cups for Raw Pressed

We created custom-printed cups for Raw Pressed, a health and wellbeing-focused brand based in Scotland. They opted for bioplastic clear cups — sticking closely with their plant-based principles — meaning their customers can get healthy takeaway food and drinks on the go without feeling guilty about disposable packaging. 

The simple design incorporated the brand’s logo, but you still see the smoothies and beverages in all their vibrant goodness. Simply adding the logo to the cups has made the packaging a hugely effective marketing tool that doesn’t get in the way of what’s most important — the incredible food and beverages on offer.

Check out the brand’s Instagram profile and see more of our branded packaging in action, including coffee cups, frozen yoghurt pots, bagasse food packaging and more.

Order Custom Printed Cups and Drinks Packaging 

Interested in printed packaging for your brand? Our packaging experts are here to help. We can print pretty much anything on a whole range of food and drinks packaging to give your business a gilded edge in competitive markets.

With low minimum order quantities and small start-up costs, you can get started for less than expected.

Get in touch for a free quote, and let us help you create custom-printed cups with lids, straws and more. 

Who would have thought an Energy Company would need Ice Cream Tubs?

Working as a packaging company we work with so many different customer’s, but we never thought an energy company would need Ice Cream Tubs! Did you? We were shocked at first but at the end of the day we are here to help anyone looking for branded packaging, so if you are looking for some, then give us a call.

How long did these tubs take to make?

These tubs had a very small turn around time, once we have artwork the tubs were delivered within 2 weeks and were made in time for their deadline. This was an order for 1,000 tubs which is our minimum order for branded tubs.

Was the customer satisfied with the tubs?

Yes, they were delighted and they left us a review on Facebook expressing their happines. It said “Great service and fast delivery! Will definitely order from them again!” Our aim is to match our customers initial ideas to the best we can. This was one of many occasions where we achieved this goal.

Do I need my own artwork to create branded tubs?

No absolutely not, we have an amazing in-house design team that can create artwork for you! Simply explain what you want them to look like and let us do our magic.

Interested in creating your own?

Get in touch today and talk to our team about branded packaging. Call us on 01753 655344 or email us on [email protected].

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Start Living a Plastic Free Life!
Compostable, plastic free, recyclable circular logo

Do you want to reduce the amount of plastic that you use in your everyday life, but you do not know how? We are going to talk about simple ways to swap plastic out of your shopping. If we all think about the amount we use and try to reduce it, we will slowly start fixing this ongoing problem.

Fruit and Vegetables

When buying fruit and veg, I think we forget that mother nature has given them their own protective packaging, meaning we DO NOT need to put them in plastic packaging. Ask yourself, do you really need a large bag of carrots or can you pick out some that you want and put them in a brown paper bag that is compostable.

Swap Bottles for Jars

This may not be possible with all products but just take the time to think about it. Can you replace your plastic bottle of vinegar for a glass one, or can you swap your plastic sauce pot for a can or a jar? If we all stop for 2 seconds to think about little things like this then the oceans will be clear before we know it!

Meat and Fish

We are all culprits in damaging the planet with plastic meat packaging. It is so easy to find what you want, pick it up and walk off rather then head over to the deli counter pick what you want and how much of it and get it wrapped up without plastic. Now we understand that this is not for everyone, but if you can then why not do it.


Now this should be easy, as who doesn’t love a bit of fresh bread! Get rid of the plastic bags and go buy a loaf of fresh bread for your breakfast and lunches. If you are buying more than one loaf and you need a bag, get a paper one and if they do not have some on offer, ask for one! Ask to replace the plastic bags with paper ones, there is no reason why not. The earth can’t speak for itself and neither can the wildlife that we are killing so we have to speak up and make the change!

Soft Drinks

This has to be one product that most of all uses plastic packaging… we doubt that there is one person that hasn’t bought a bottle of water or orange juice in the morning. We don’t always need to. Buy a can of coke instead, or a carton of juice or even a glass bottle of water.  We can do it if we try!

So, lets make a change, lets actually DO something about this problem. Head over to our website and take a look at the other plastic alternatives we offer, from PLA to Baggase (Sugarcane Pulp) and even paper. They are amazing products that do not harm the planet. So, have a browse and see if there is anything you are interested in and if you want them branded then give us a call as we do that too. 

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Royal Collection Trust Ice Cream Tubs

We have been working alongside the Royal Trust Collection to create a unique PLA ice cream tub to be given out in their wonderful ice cream trucks. This has been an ongoing project, and we are so pleased with the outcome and wanted to share it with all of you.

What are the tubs made of?

The ice cream tubs are made of PLA material, making them fully recyclable and compostable. PLA stands for polylactic acid and it is a vegetable-based plastic material consisting of renewable materials. However, even though they are PLA they are not shiny, they have a lovely matt finish to them.

Where will I find these tubs?

These tubs are going to be used to serve ice cream from the trucks placed around Windsor Castle and St James’s Palace. There is a 3oz and a 5oz ice tub, so you can either have 1 scoop or if you are feeling hungry get 2 or 3 with lots of toppings of course. Our favourite is a strawberry swirl with oreo pieces and white chocolate sauce on top, hmmm!

Who do I contact to create my own tubs?

You can either give us a call or send us an email. We love to create tubs like these or add custom food packaging stickers, the end product makes it all worthwhile. Our tubs are manufactured from heavyweight paperboard and are coated with PE on the interior (but can also be coated on the exterior). PE coating is proven to be an ideal barrier against frost, liquid and condensation. All printed ice cream tubs are produced to your specific requirements. But like the Royal Collection Trust, we can make them in PLA if requested.

So, if you are interested in making your own tubs just like this then give us a call and kick-start your summer with colour-branded ice cream tubs that people will remember!

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Our New Biodegradable Straws
Biodegradable Straws Jumbo GREEN

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws? You’ve come to the right place! Allow us to introduce our new Biodegradable Straws

Biodegradable Straw 7mm
7mm Green Biodegradable Straw

We know that paper straws aren’t for everyone, or every drink! Our new PLA Biodegradable Straws have the physical appearance of plastic but are fully biodegradable and compostable.

They are made from Ingeo™ bioplastic, which has characteristics and performance tailored for cold drinking liquids. Ingeo™ has naturally advanced resins and a carbon footprint 80% lower than the fossil fuel-based polymers.
Ingeo™ Bioplastic emits fewer greenhouse gasses (GHGs) than the comparable manufacture of all common petrochemical-based plastics.

Features of Biodegradable straws

  • 100 percent Biodegradable & Commercially Compostable
  • Oil Free
  • 2 Sizes Available: 7mm and 12mm
  • Cold Drink Use Only
  • Sustainable Materials

Bulk Order? Choose your own colour!

We can produce these biodegradable straws for your business in any colour, get in touch with us if you are ordering large quantities.

These straws go hand in hand with our Biodegradable Smoothie Cups.

Biodegradable Smoothie Cups
Biodegradable Clear EcoCups


  • 100 percent Biodegradable & Commercially Compostable
  • 5 Sizes Available: 7oz, 9oz, 12oz, 16oz, 20oz
  • Cold Drink Use Only
  • Flat & Dome Lids Available
  • Oil Free
  • Sustainable Resources

Talk to us today about PLA Biodegradable straws, you can call us on 01753 655 344, order online, send us an email on [email protected] or send us a message.

Like this blog? Read all about our biodegradable smoothie cups here.

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