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Reusable Coffee Cups Saving The Planet One Flat White At A Time
Oct 09, 2018


Richard Schouten, who co-owns local cafe  Cake & Kitchen  welcomed the initiative saying the hospitality industry had a moral obligation to be as sustainable as possible.

"[As a cafe owner] I kind of have a responsibility. When you see a cup in the bin I have got to wear that."

The initiative works by customers paying a one-off bond to get their first cup and coffee. Once used the cup can be taken into any participating business to be cleaned and exchanged for a fresh one when they buy their next drink.

Commercially compostable lids will be used with the cups.

Schouten approached the Upper Hutt City Council about the initiative after hearing about the success of the programme in Motueka.

Cake & Kitchen dispensed about 800 disposable cups a week and Schouten expected the CupCycling cups would made a significant dent in that number.

CupCycling began in Motueka when a coffee roasting company owned by Stephanie Fry came up with the idea for the IdealCup - the cup used in the programme – with the ultimate goal of eliminating disposable cups.

Starting last August nine cafes had joined the Motueka programme and nearly 14,000 cups had been saved from the landfill.

CupCycling had since spread to Cromwell and the New Zealand Post building in Wellington. Fry said word about CupCycling was getting around with domestic interest and enquiries from Australia and Canada. 

The programme was being launched in Upper Hutt with 11 businesses on board, each starting with 50 cups.  

The Upper Hutt City Council contributed $6000 to help start the programme.

Council strategic policy manager James McKibbin said the initiative was a good fit with the council's sustainability strategy and they were pleased to be supporting local businesses in reducing their landfill waste. 

The programme was a great way to get people thinking about how their everyday activities impact the environment.

Reusable coffee cups