A Vessel Works reusable, stainless steel cup.

Courtesy of Vessel Works

As many coffee shops purge plastic straws from their inventory, Vessel hopes to go a step further and replace single-use cups.

The Boulder-based company Vessel Works is launching citywide after a test-run in New York City. The program works like a library or a bike share, but for to-go cups. Instead of receiving a disposable cup, coffee drinkers get a reusable, stainless steel mug. People can later exchange or drop off the cup.

Vessel Works founder Dagny Tucker got the idea after noticing the huge amount of waste created at sustainability conferences she attended worldwide. Tucker talked to Colorado Matters about creating the program, which is free for customers.