Anyone who keeps up with news and current events knows that ocean pollution has become a major problem, especially considering the sheer quantity of plastic littering beaches and traveling through the waterways directly into marine wildlife habitats. So, the team at Slippy decided to use some of that plastic sourced from coastal areas to minimize another form of waste — cardboard cup sleeves.

one coffee cup wrapped in cardboard sleeve, one cup wrapped in a napkin, and one cup wrapped in cloth coffee sleeve

What is Slippy?

Cardboard might be less harmful to the environment than other products, but it still requires the cutting down of trees, which provide us with clean air. The production process and post-consumer waste of cardboard sleeves could cover the entire state of Texas, so there must be a better, long-term solution for the individual sleeves on billions of coffee cups that are used for just moments and then tossed.

Related: Scientists warn we are now entering the plastic age

Zach Crain and his team developed Slippy, a cup sleeve that is not just reusable but is also made from recycled ocean plastic. The Slippy team launched the idea on a Kickstarter campaign, which was fully funded by 1,304 backers who pledged $41,664 toward the $10,000 goal.

cardboard box filled with reusable cloth coffee sleeves

The entire project all started from the knowledge that once it has been produced, plastic never goes away. It takes generations to break down, adding pollutants to the soil along the way. Ocean plastic is even worse, because it ends up hurting marine wildlife. Recent studies even show alarming amounts of plastic inside the animals we rely on as food sources.

Enter modern technology that can convert marine plastic into usable fibers. These fibers are typically a mix of ocean plastic combined with post-consumer plastic, and these fibers are now being used for a variety of products across many industries. Slippy took an extra step and is dedicated to creating yarn sourced 100 percent from ocean-bound plastic. That means more plastic removed from the ocean, specifically from beaches or waters within 30 miles of the coastline in areas with poor coastal maintenance systems in place.

The Slippy is available in an assortment of finished fabric designs, all of which have a cone shape that fits snugly on a variety of cups, offering a non-slip grip and hand comfort for your morning brew or evening brewsky.

aluminum can wrapped in a blue cloth reusable cup sleeve

Inhabitat’s review of Slippy

While gathering more information on Slippy, the team offered to send me a sample for review. Once it arrived, I then ran around my house, slipping it over a variety of beverage vessels to truly put this cup sleeve to the test. Of course, the cone shape slides neatly onto disposable coffee cups, but as an environmentally conscious consumer, I avoid single-use cups wherever possible. The Slippy proved to be ideal for the stainless steel cups I keep in the freezer as well as bottles, cans, pint glasses, water bottles and pretty much every other form of cup I tried. There was a slight slip on cold beer bottles due to the cone shape, but it still worked well at keeping my hands warm and dry while holding the frosty beverage.

green cup wrapped in blue cloth reusable cup sleeve

The Slippy is great for keeping hands from getting too cold or too hot from the surface of cups, but my favorite part of this cup sleeve is that it keeps my drink from creating a puddle of condensation by absorbing the moisture from cold drinks. It’s honestly the best cozy I’ve ever had. They appear to be very durable and endlessly reusable, they grip the surface of cups nicely and they are pleasant to the touch (no squeaky, plastic feel). The Slippy will be a growing part of my gift-giving profile.

+ Slippy

Images via Slippy and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat

Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Slippy. All opinions on the products and the company are the author’s own.

drink can wrapped in red and blue cloth cup sleeve on a rock with sun setting over the ocean in background