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The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Cups For A Low-Waste Celebration

The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Cups For A Low-Waste Celebration

As the creators of the first and only line of compostable and organic dinnerware, we’re no strangers to the search for the perfect compostable cups. And while it’s an item that we don’t offer ourselves, these options for eco-friendly cups can help you round out the perfect table setting for any event.

Why Choose Eco-Friendly Cups?

Event planning (big and small) can come with a long list of tasks. But for those that want to celebrate while remaining environmentally conscious, seemingly small choices, such as dinnerware, add up. And while we’re proud to offer a complete line of compostable bamboo plates, napkins, and cutlery, finding truly eco-friendly cups can be a challenge. With time, we’ve rounded up seven options eco-friendly cups that are a lower-waste alternative to traditional plastic and paper cups. Whether you’re throwing a relaxed event at your home, or toasting to your wedding, these suggestions are fit for any event.

The Best Eco-Friendly Cups: Disposable Options

Hoping to lower costs and make cleanup easier? Choosing eco-friendly cups that are disposable might be your best option. Luckily, there are disposable cup options available that are not made of plastic. But it’s extremely important to be aware of what the cups you choose are made of. And to ensure that you have the facilities necessary to properly dispose of them.

Most disposable cups that claim to be compostable have specific requirements for disposal. Those that need a commercial composting facility (most compostable cup options), will not biodegrade on their own. In order for these cups to truly be more eco-friendly than plastic or lined paper cups, they must end up in the right place! Keep this in mind as you look through these options. For a thorough list of options, check out the Compost Manufacturing Alliance. Their directory is a great resource for eco-friendly, disposable cups. And, you can find information about how and where to dispose of each option.

Our Overall Pick: Durable, Compostable Cups for Any Event

Ideal for pre-ceremony water stations, cocktail hour, and dinnertime beverages.  These simple compostable cups for weddings will blend in with any theme or color scheme. The small green ring around the bottom of these cups helps waste management companies recognize that they are compostable. And, it fits in well with spring color palettes.


These compostable cups are 100% plastic-free. They're made of cornstarch-based PLA, which is a plant-based plastic alternative. They are compostable only in commercial composting facilities and will not break down in backyard compost. Nor can they be recycled. If your venue has access to commercial composting facilities, this plant-based, compostable cup could be a good match!

Best for Coffee Service: Sugarcane Paper Compostable Hot Cups

Serving hot beverages during your celebration? You’ll need compostable hot cups that can stand up to boiling temperatures without melting or becoming too hot. The commonly seen clear, compostable, cups won’t work for this use. Instead, consider these compostable hot cups made from sugarcane paper. Sugarcane is a renewable resource and a sustainable alternative to tree-based paper cups.


These cups are BPI-certified compostable for commercial composting facilities. Do not attempt to compost them in your backyard or recycle them. If your venue has access to commercial composting, these cups provide a more sustainable alternative to lined paper cups.

Best for Cocktail Hour: Compostable Stemless Cups

Want to keep the party flowing in style? These BPA-free, plant-based cups are designed to mimic stemless wine glasses. And they’re perfect for cocktail hour and beyond. Unlike other options that can look less-than-festive, these simple cups are made for celebration and are an especially good option for compostable wedding cups.


Like the other options, you’ll need access to a commercial composting facility to properly dispose of these cups. They are BPI-certified compostable and 100% Biobased. This ensures that they will break down cleanly, just as long as they’re put in the right place.

Prefer a reusable option? Holdster USA offers reusable, plastic-free mason jar mugs that are a stylish and safe way to enjoy beverages of any temperature.

Other considerations for disposable cups

Other Options For Eco-Friendly Cups

As you can see, finding compostable and eco-friendly disposable cups for celebrations is quite easy. But finding options that can be safely composted without a commercial compost facility is another matter. If your celebration is taking place at a venue that doesn’t have access to these facilities, consider other options for eco-friendly cups. With a little creativity, you’ll find that your tableware can be low-waste. No matter where you are celebrating.

Rented Glass

For a large event, buying hundreds of cups and glasses might not be in your budget. But renting glasses, even for a big wedding,  is a more affordable and very eco-friendly option. Most event rental companies offer a selection of choices to fit your event theme. Even if you’re holding your event in a small town, you might be surprised by the party rental options available. A quick online search for “event glassware rentals” will show you what your options are.

Thrifted Cups

Throwing a smaller event, backyard BBQ, or have some time before a larger celebration? Thrifting your eco-friendly cups is a very sustainable way to get reusable glass or metal drinkware affordably. To get an idea of what you might find, perouse your local thrift and antique stores to see their selections. For those that are creating a rustic or romantic aesthetic, an assortment of antique glassware might be just the touch you need.

Stainless Steel Cups

Although not the lowest-cost option, if you prefer eco-friendly cups that are reusable, stainless steel is a fantastic choice. Stainless steel is not only reusable. It's also endlessly recyclable (in comparison, plastic can only be recycled 2-3 times). Steel is also recycled at a very high rate, which contributes to a circular production system. Companies such as Green Steel will work with you to customize the design, which is a great touch for weddings. Plus, you’ll typically get a better price on bulk orders.

Personalized Wedding Cups

For those tying the knot, opting for personalized wedding cups is a budget-friendly way to offer eco-friendly cups, and a sustainable keepsake. Typically crafted from glass or stainless steel, you can add a design, your wedding date, or even a photo. This is a great option for those that want to simplify, stay low-waste, and give a gift that can be used again and again. 

Searching for tableware to go along with these reusable and compostable cups? Shop the Veneerware line of organic, 100% compostable plates and cutlery.

Sign-up for our wedding inspiration tips delivered to your inbox, or check out our Wedding Inspiration page for more wedding ideas. 


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