Disposable Cup Buying Guide

Disposable Cup Buying Guide

The guide below outlines the sizes, materials and types of disposable cups available for serving both hot and cold beverages at your cafe, restaurant, mobile drinks station or shop. 

Decisions including the type of material used to make the cup can make a big difference in your customer's perception of the business, your ethical sustainability and your gross profit. There are of course other options available but we have stuck to the most modern and ecofriendly options below.    

Cup Size Guide

Probably the easiest decision to make when choosing a disposable cup is the size and range of sizes that you need to serve your drinks. This can be based on the type of beverage, expected spend from the customer and profit margins etc. The below list shows the most popular cup sizes available in the disposables market and their typical uses. 

4oz - 118ml - Espresso Shot
8oz - 227ml - Regular Coffee
12oz - 355ml - Medium Coffee - Regular Soft Drink
16oz - 473ml - Large Coffee - Medium Soft Drink
20oz - 591ml - Large Soft Drink
24oz - 710ml - Extra Large Soft Drink
32oz - 946ml - Supersize Soft Drink

Eco Friendly Disposable Cup Materials

With the world waking up to sustainability, new materials for disposable cups are entering the market. Below is a list of the most popular terms used by manufacturers. The top of the list is the most "green" option, running down to the least eco-friendly but still offering some sustainability features. 


A cup that is biodegradeable can be naturally broken down by microoranisms such as bacteria or fungi and absorbed back into the ecosystem. These products are composed of natural materials and generally considered the most "eco friendly" or "green" cups. 


These cups can be placed into compost bins and decay at the same rate as paper without releasing harmful toxins into the earth. They aren't the same as biodegradable cups because they are made from man-made materials. 


Degradable cups cannot be broken down naturally but can be reduced to non harmful elements through chemical reaction intervention. The decomposition results in water, carbon dioxide and biomass. 

Post Consumaer Recycled Content

This simply means reusing material which was once discarded. The initial product completes it's life cycle and is carefully recycled and made into another product. Many "standard cups" are made from recycled content however not all. 


Recyclable products are commonplace however almost everything can be recycled nowadays it just depends on the cost and processes involved. Major coffee chains are tasked by the government to increase the number of cups being recycled.  

Types of Cups

Another decision to make is the type of cup you need to serve your beverages and what your customers expect. 

Single Walled Cold

The thinnest grade cup used primarily for cold drinks where risk of burning the customers hand is at a minimum.  

Single Walled Hot

The most cost effective option for serving hot beverages. A heavier weight material keeps the liquid insulated and the hand cooler.  

Double Walled Hot

Used to keep hot drinks hot and the hand cool. Created using 2 thin walls joined to create an insulating layer.  

Air Pocket Insulated

A premium cup which takes advantage of sealed pockets of air created with a corrugated layer for ultimate insulation of the hot drink. 

How to store your disposable cups?

Now you've chosen your cups that fit your business, another important decision to make is how to store your disposable cups before use. With worktop space often at a premium in cafes, restaurants and shops, the necessity to keep these spaces tidy and clear of clutter is increasing. Bonzer produce a range of cup dispensing solutions to satisfy your needs. All bonzer dispensing products are designed and manufactured in the UK with spares available to purchase from our website.