disposable and reusable cup guide

Guide to disposable and reusable cups

Cheers. Cheers. Prost. Chin chin. Santé. Kampai. Na zdorovje. Skal. Osasuna. Salut. Mabuhay... In practically every language there is a different locution for toast, and there are few customs as widespread in the world as this one.

Raising all kinds of glasses, clinking them and expressing good wishes is an act that is repeated the length and breadth of the globe in all kinds of celebrations. But is any glass worth a glass?

If, like us, your business associates glasses with big occasions, special moments or fine wines, this buying guide for disposable and reusable plastic cups for catering and hospitality establishments is for you.

We'll help you choose the ideal models for each event and each type of drink, so join us for this comprehensive review (in the language of your choice)!

Glasses are important, but you have to match them with the right plates, glasses, cutlery and other disposable utensils for a quality dining experience. Download our catalogues for a wide range of models.

Complete guide to plastic cups, a must in the catering industry

Any self-respecting catering business should not have to choose between glasses and cups, they should have both models. It is all about aesthetics and meeting the expectations of diners, who associate certain drinks with one or the other model.

The difference between glasses and tumblers is that the former include a stem, while the latter do not. In this way, as a general rule, glasses are much more stylised and sophisticated models, which are key when dressing elegant tables or special occasions where wine or cava will be the star of the evening.

But their use is not only limited to these two beverages.

As we will see throughout this guide to disposable glasses, there are disposable glasses for water, cocktails and spirits of all kinds. A real must for any type of celebration.

Advantages over traditional cups

  • No shattering when broken
  • Lightweight: easy to transport and remove from tables
  • Stackable: more efficient storage
  • Allows for periodic renewal to have always trendy models

Disposable cups guide

Disposable cups are single-use cups that facilitate service at events, restaurants and in general, in all areas of hospitality, for the convenience of their transport, as well as their cleaning: after use, they can be recycled directly.

The material from which these cups are made determines that they are single-use models. These include PLA corn starch and polystyrene (PS).

Disposable toast glasses

PLA corn starch cups

These biodegradable cups are made from the starch obtained from this plant. Due to its ecological origin it is a sustainable alternative, standing out for being biodegradable, recyclable and compostable. It has a characteristic shine and a certain transparency that give it presence and elegance.

It should be added that they are completely safe for use by people who are allergic to corn starch and its derivatives.

In our shop you can find models for cold drinks: stylised for cava and more flattened for wine and water.

  • Bright and transparent
  • Light and rigid
  • No splintering
  • Will not break into small cutting pieces
  • Biodegradable and compostable.

Economical polystyrene cups

These polystyrene cups are made from the polymerisation of styrene monomer and are characterised by their high transparency and light weight. These models are for single use only and you can find in our shop a wide range of glasses for serving champagne, wine, water, cocktails or drinks.

With so much variety, it is not surprising that we are dealing with a material that is very present in caterings, terraces and buffets.

  • Transparent
  • Practical and disposable
  • Easy to stack
  • With removable and fixed feet
  • Very safe: if they break, they do not cause cuts

Reusable cup guides for the hospitality industry

As the name suggests, reusable glasses are those that have a life cycle longer than a single use. They can be washed in industrial dishwashers and, depending on the material they are made of, they can withstand a different number of washing cycles.

Plastic beverage cups

PS and PP cups

In our shop you can find cups that combine the transparency and lightness of polystyrene for the body with the stability of polypropylene for the foot. This makes it possible to combine the transparency of PS with the trendy colours of PP feet.

They are suitable for use in industrial dishwashers and have a life cycle of about 125 washes. You will find them in multiple models to meet any need: champagne, soft drinks, water, wine or cocktails.

  • Recyclable and reusable.
  • Transparent
  • High stability

SAN Cups

At Monouso you can get your own SAN glasses, transparent or black, with 500 cycles washed in professional industrial machines. This material is a copolymer of the styrene family, 70% styrene, 30% acrylonitrile.

From both elements, the SAN cups reflect different characteristics such as the rigidity and gloss of acrylonitrile or the ease of processing of styrene, which enables details of the mould to be copied with great fidelity.

Specially designed for champagne and cava.

  • Unbreakable
  • BPA free
  • Good scratch resistance
  • Recyclable
  • High transparency similar to glass


Tritan cups are made from an innovative generation of recyclable copolyester resins. It is a bisphenol-free material (BPA, BPS) that stands out for its high resistance and its functionalities: reusable, dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe.

Products made of Tritan may look like glass, but they have great advantages over traditional glassware, such as higher impact strength, resistance to breakage and dents, resistance to shattering, as well as light weight.

In our shop you can find Tritan wine, gin & tonic and champagne glasses with 350 wash cycles in a multitude of designs, to please your most demanding customers.

  • Crystal effect
  • Hardness and shine
  • High resistance
  • Best scratch resistance

Which glass to use for which drink

Knowing the material of a glass is important in order to make a choice: disposable or reusable? How many washes? What level of shine do I need? However, there is one aspect you can't forget when choosing glasses and that is the use you are going to make of them.

There are different disposable cups depending on the drink that is going to be served in them and the choice is not trivial.

Many experts maintain that to really enjoy a drink, it must be served in a glass that meets certain minimum characteristics. For example, for water, wine, champagne or cocktails there are different glasses.

Glasses for champagne or cava

Disposable champagne or cava glasses are designed with the right style to enhance the flavour and bubbles of this iconic drink. When a drink is surrounded by so much glamour it is normal that different styles of glass appear to taste it.

In the case of champagne, in our shop you can find the three most popular champagne glass shapes: classic, low stem and flute. Do you know how to tell them apart?

Classic glasses or Pompadour glasses

Legend has it that Queen Marie Antoinette had this type of glass made by taking one of her breasts as a model. Another legend says that it was the breast of one of King Louis XV's mistresses, from whom it took its name.

What is certain is that it was commissioned by a nobleman from a Venetian master in the 17th century, well before the alleged affair of the beloved French king.

Myths aside, the classic cava glass is characterised by being short, flat and wide-mouthed.

Despite its beauty, it has lost popularity over the years among the most purist sparkling wine drinkers because it does not allow for the concentration of aromas or the vertical displacement of bubbles. The reality is that it is pure elegance and nostalgia, and that never goes out of fashion.

Flute and low stemmed glasses for cava

The flute-shaped or low stemmed glasses are long and narrow models designed to allow the bubbles to have a long run. Unlike the Pompadour or classic, your customer can enjoy this spectacle.

Their narrow mouth allows the aromas to be concentrated, but it is not easy to place the nose to appreciate these aromas, precisely because of their small size.

With a modern and glamorous aesthetic, you can choose them with a transparent, black or coloured foot (turquoise, raspberry, green, orange, etc.).

Water and wine glasses

Types of disposable wine glasses

Water and wine glasses, often interchangeable, are large, wide glasses.

To combine them on your tables, choose the ones with the largest millilitres for water and the next largest for red, white or rosé wines. You can find them with the stem in different colours: blue, beige, tiffany, gold, fuchsia: to match the rest of your tableware!

In our shop you will find them with the goblet in different capacities from 130 ml to 300 ml, so that you can cover all the needs of your guests. Also with different stem heights: longer or shorter, depending on the model.

Those with shorter stems are usually intended for water, although as we said before, the current trend is to make them interchangeable.

Guide to the shape and size of the glass according to type of wine

You cannot forget that different wines have the tradition of being served in different glasses. We are going to review the characteristics that you should take into account when choosing one over the other to serve a Rioja or a Rueda.

  • Red wines: wide and convex. For crianza, reserva or gran reserva reds, the glass should be filled to approximately 1/3 of its capacity. For young reds, the glass is filled to 1/2 of its capacity.
  • White wines: smaller and narrower than the glass for reds. For white and young wines, the glass is filled to approximately 1/3 of its total capacity.
  • Rosé wines: wider than the white wine glass, but with a lower stem than the red wine glass. The glass is filled 1/2 full.

Cocktail glasses

Plastic cocktail glasses, or cocktail glasses, have the most casual and fun designs. They are usually used in cocktail bars, pubs, bars and restaurants or to finish off any high-class catering event (large celebrations, weddings, etc.). These models stand out above all:

  • martini glasses for serving the typical vermouth that is becoming increasingly fashionable, as well as other drinks: manhattan, cosmopolitan, bloody mary or shirly temple. They have a conical goblet and an elegant stem that you can choose in different colours to match the rest of your disposable tableware;
  • margarita glasses, in which, as the name suggests, the legendary Cuban cocktail is served. They can also be used for other types of cocktails such as daiquiri or mojito;
  • gin and tonic glasses, especially for serving this and other cocktails. They usually have a balloon-shaped goblet. In addition to the famous gin and tonic cocktail, other cocktails are also served.

The best thing about the cocktail glasses in guide this disposable glasses guide, along with their designs and transparency, is their durability, so you need have no fear if your customers jump onto the dance floor glass in hand as they won't shatter when broken or cause cuts.

Cocktail recipes for cocktail glasses

Types of cocktails for disposable cups

There is a huge variety of alcoholic cocktails that you can offer to your guests using the disposable cocktail glasses that you will find in our online shop.

In case you need some inspiration, here are some of the most famous cocktails of all time, those that never go out of fashion and that, in all likelihood, your customers will ask for at one event or another:

  • Black russian: vodka, coffee liqueur.
  • Bloody mary: vodka, tomato and lemon juice, Perrins (Worchestershire) sauce and tabasco (may include celery).
  • Caipirinha: rum, pineapple and coconut cream.
  • Cosmopolitan: vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice.
  • Cubalibre: white rum, cola, lime or lemon juice and ice.
  • Daiquiri: white rum, lime or lemon juice.
  • Dirty martini: vodka, dry vermouth and olive broth.
  • Gin fizz: gin, lemon juice, white sugar and soda.
  • Gin tonic: gin and tonic.
  • Long Island: vodka, tequila, white rum, triple dry, gin, lemon juice, sugar and cola.
  • Mai Tai: aged rum, white rum, triple dry, lime or lemon juice, amaretto, sugar and ice.
  • Manhattan: whisky and red vermouth.
  • Margarita: tequila, Cointreau or Marie Brizard triple dry, lime or lemon juice (rim of the glass frosted with salt).
  • Martini: gin and dry vermouth.
  • Mojito: Cuban rum, soda, sugar, mint leaves, lime and lots of ice.
  • Negroni: red vermouth, Campari and vermouth.
  • Pisco sour: pisco, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white.
  • Screwdriver: vodka, orange juice
  • Sex on the beach: vodka, peach liqueur, orange juice and cranberry juice.

Liquor Glasses

These are slightly smaller glasses especially suitable for serving cognac, brandy, armagnac, mistela, bourbon and these types of drinks.

They can be found in different goblet formats, square, stretched or conical, which allows you to play with the style of the rest of the glasses in the service.

Dessert and ice cream glasses

It is very common to use certain disposable cups for dessert presentation. Although there are specific dessert glasses, in many occasions different cocktail models are used to create eye-catching presentations that attract the attention of the guests.

This is especially the case when you are catering a wedding or a large event, where the tableware is your great ally to make your dishes shine.

Uses of plastic cups

Plastic cups are a worthwhile investment in any type of establishment and event, from outdoor venues to large volume restaurants.

Uses of plastic cups outdoors

Whether you need wine glasses for catering at a venue or gin and tonic glasses for the open bar at a wedding, disposable and reusable plastic cups are a great solution for many occasions.

Here are some other common uses for plastic cups.

Outdoor uses

  • Swimming pool
  • Covered terraces and patios
  • Outdoor dining and bars
  • Pop-up restaurants
  • Concerts and fairs
  • Garden weddings
  • Corporate events
  • Popular festivals
  • Food trucks

Since many outdoor facilities include food and beverage service, it is important to keep breakable glassware away from pools and other outdoor areas. Glassware is usually not allowed near pools to avoid breakage in the water and possible injury.

To get around this rule, many outdoor areas and poolside venues resort to plastic cups. From margarita to martini glasses, there is a wide variety of drinkware to keep all types of outdoor establishments safe and injury free.

Large capacity establishments

  • Sanitary facilities
  • School cafeterias
  • Workplace cafeterias
  • Public institutions

In large establishments such as school cafeterias, hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, reusable plastic cups are ideal.

When dishwasher use and breakage resistance is a must, cups that have extremely high impact resistance are very beneficial.

Family establishments

  • Day centres
  • Restaurants
  • Amusement parks

If you have an establishment that caters mainly to families and children, a perfect option is to opt for safe, wear-resistant plastic cups.

With this review of our guide to the must-have disposable and reusable cups for the hospitality industry, it has become clear that the world of cups is a wide, diverse and entertaining one. A water glass is not the same as a wine glass, and we hope that with this complete guide to disposable glassware you will be clearer about the differences.

To help you, in our shop you will find each glass classified by their materials and their uses to make it much easier for you to choose the best ones for your business. If you have any doubts, don't think twice and contact our customer service team.