Vessel Works: What is it, why should we care?

Nirvana Ellaboudy/Staff

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Have you recently walked into Caffè Strada and wondered what the giant silver cylinders are for? Well those, my friends, are Vessels. Vessel is the new program sweeping the sidewalks of cafés all over Berkeley. Here are a few reasons why you should sign up and join the reusable movement!

Many people do not realize that a majority of coffee-to-go cups, although recyclable, are often not recycled because of their inner lining. It becomes way too expensive for most cities to deal with them, leading to more landfill waste. Vessel has, however, found a way to create a free program for coffee-drinkers to get their usual to-go order without wasteful one-use cups. Vessel Works, originating in Boulder, Colorado, is now taking over the city of Berkeley, serving as a provider of free reusable cups for members.

You can become a member for free at by just giving your email, location and a credit card to be charged to if you fail to return a cup. Once a member, the steps for becoming a frequent user are easy. You start by taking a photo of the code residing at the bottom of a metal Vessel cup. Then a link will show up on your phone to confirm your account. Just show the confirmation code to the barista, and youre good to go! The cups can keep your drink hot or cold for 14 hours and come with a spill-proof lid. Once you finish your brew, you dont even have to clean the cup! You just deposit it at any participating Vessel location; just make sure to return the cup within five days to avoid a $15 charge.

You may be thinking, that sounds great and all, but what if Im not near a Vessel location?”.

The program is currently in its pilot stage and will go into full effect in January 2020. In January, the city of Berkeley will be the host of Vessel Works in many places where coffee is present. So join the movement of reducing waste from your much-needed caffeine fix! In fact, according to the companys website, Vessel Works is predicting a reduction of about 58 million cups.

I know it may seem inconvenient at first, but the account took me about 30 seconds to make during my anthropology lecture. Even though its still in its pilot stage, the Vessel cups were super easy to find and drop off in between classes at spots such as Press. Not to mention, my coffee stayed hot and tasty through my entire morning class. So, try it out or don’t, but now you know what’s up with those silver cylinders popping up in Berkeley cafés!

Contact Summer Kailani at [email protected].