(l-r) Andrew Brooks, creator of the pokito with Gary Powner, managing director at Omega Plastics.
The North East-based plastics manufacturer hopes the levy will inspire more people to invest in reusable travel cups.
There were mixed reactions from the UK’s population of coffee drinkers last week when the government announced its latest plans to help save the planet.
Under the ‘latte levy’, the government has proposed a 25p tax on all disposable coffee cups, similar to the 5p tax introduced on plastic bags in 2016.
The motion has come off the back of a recent report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee which highlighted that of the 2.5 billion disposable cups used by UK consumers each year, less than one in 400 cups are properly recycled.
One budding inventor, who is only too aware of the issue that this is causing for our planet, is Andrew Brooks, creator of the pokito collapsible cup.
pokito is a reusable travel cup which can be adjusted to match the size of the user’s drink (from 8oz espresso to 16oz grande) and has been designed to collapse when finished with for ease of storage and portability.
Having now been in production with North East-based plastics manufacturer, Omega Plastics, for over a year, the pokito is the result of a crowdfunding campaign managed by Brooks through Kickstarter, which helped to raise over £100,000 towards bringing the concept to life.
Brooks said: “It’s astonishing to think that if you stacked all of the paper cups that are thrown away each day on top of each other, they would be 7 times taller than Mount Everest.
“Every day, more than 7 million paper cups are thrown into British bins, 99% of which end up in landfill sites instead of being recycled.
“There are a lot of reusable travel cups already on the market, but many of them are either too big, too heavy, or tend to leak, which limits their reusability. I wanted to create something which worked from a practical point of view, but that would also be sustainable to manufacture.”
To help him further develop his design from a sustainability and practicality perspective, Brooks called upon the expertise of Omega Plastics to bring the product to life. “It’s one thing to have an idea, but another to actually put it into practice,” he said.
“I approached Omega Plastics with the concept for my design and they came back to me with a very competitive price. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
With facilities in Washington, Hartlepool and Blyth, Omega Plastics has established itself as one of the UK’s leading plastics manufacturers.
The company prides itself on its exceptional levels of customer service and the unparalleled support it provides to clients throughout the manufacturing process, from initial designs to finished products.
Gary Powner, managing director at Omega Plastics, said: “We were absolutely delighted when Andrew approached us with the concept designs for the pokito collapsible cup.
“Working together with Andrew, we were able to provide a full turn-key solution for the pokito, successfully creating the tools needed to produce and mould all five of the components for the pokito and then supporting the project through the manufacturing process.”