FAQ

How does mugshare work?


Check out our super simple how-to guide here. If you can’t find your answer there or in our FAQs, please get in contact with our team!




How are your mugs more sustainable than single-use cups? Aren’t single-use cups recyclable?


First, disposable, single-use items are completely bonkers. Can you imagine if you threw out your clothes, or your laptop, or your car every time you used it? While these are extreme examples, it shows how inefficient single-use disposable items are. Creating huge amounts of these items that are only used for a few minutes before being thrown out adds up over time, even if they are small. Second, disposable cups aren’t always recycled. While we’re lucky here in Vancouver to have a system that recycles these cups, only certain kinds can be recycled, and the system takes a ton of energy to separate the paper outside of a cup from its plastic inner lining. Plus, only the paper part of the cup is recyclable - the plastic lining is thrown out. If you don’t believe us, check out the City of Vancouver’s Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy—there’s tons of information in there, and mug share has been considered as one of the strategies to solve the issue! Our reusable mugs can be used thousands of times and we ask our partners to hang on to all mugs that have reached their end-of-life so that our team can collect and steward their recycling process, ensuring that the material stays in our economy—not leaked into our environment. As policy and innovation evolves around food-safe recycled content, we're hopeful that old mugs could be locally manufactured directly back into new mugs for the program! References: Recycle BC The City of Vancouver




How do you ensure the mugs are clean and safe to share?


Reusable mugs are kept safe by the same sanitation policies we’ve been using for dine-in dishware for a long time (they’re equivalent to using a sanitized glass or fork at a restaurant). Unlike single-use items, mugshare mugs are dishwasher safe and are sanitized after every use by food safety trained employees. To learn more about mugshare's health & safety practices, check out our safety page.




What happens if I damage a mug?


Damaged mugs, unfortunately, are not able to be returned to partner locations for a $5 deposit refund. However, we have done extensive research to find a durable, long-lasting mug for the program! Treat it with care and you shouldn't have a problem. If you do end up with a damaged mug, please get in touch with us directly. We are happy to provide a reimbursement (we get it—accidents happen) and will also ensure it is recycled properly. Please don’t throw away damaged mugs!




Where can I borrow/return mugs?


At any of our partner locations! See them all here. (Note, you don't have to return to the same location where you borrowed from—feel free to choose the most convenient location).

Got a favourite cafe you’re dying to see join mugshare? Add them to the wishlist.




How long can I keep the mug for? What happens if I forget to return a mug?


You can technically keep your mug (or multiple mugs) as long as you like—but we encourage you to return your mug so it can be used by another person. Forgot to return your last mug but craving another coffee? No problem—you can still get another one and return both mugs next time. If you lose a mug, that’s okay, it happens! There’s no penalty for losing a mug other than that you can’t return it to get your $5 deposit back. So keep an eye on them.




How do I become a mugshare partner?


We'd love to partner with your cafe, restaurant, event, office, school, or wherever you need mugs! Check out our partners page for more information, and contact us to get started.




What are your deposit-free "community" mugs all about?


We want mugshare to be accessible to everyone and are committed to reducing barriers to participation. One way we've tried to address this is by introducing community mugs, which are available deposit-free for anyone that indicates the deposit price is a barrier. When these mugs are returned, no deposit refund is provided. We strongly encourage our partners to train staff to offer a community mug whenever needed, no questions asked. There is no criteria to qualify for a community mug!
To differentiate them from deposit mugs, community mugs come with a colourful silicone lid instead of our standard teal lid. (true to our low-waste values, we are excited to be able to rescue and repurpose these lids from one of our previous pilots—colours vary!)






Can't find an answer to your question?
Contact us and we'll help you out!