Cutting plastic waste with 'cup-as-a-service'

Signal of change / Cutting plastic waste with 'cup-as-a-service'

By George Harding-Rolls / 10 Jun 2018

Ellen MacArthur Foundation grantee CupClub has come up with an disruptive new business model aiming to drastically cut plastic waste created from coffee cups with an 'cup-as-a-service' model. The company provides RFID tagged reusable coffee cups to cafes which are then used by consumers, returned, washed and redistributed to participating retailers by CupClub. 

So what?

To many it can come as some surprise that disposable coffee cups are not actually recyclable. Most types contain a thin layer of bonded plastic on the inside, making it waterproof but practically impossible to recycle. In the UK 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away each year, that's many tonnes going to landfill each year. While many conscious consumers have turned to reusable cups, they are often inconvenient to use on the go. CupClub's solution offers consumers the convience they're used to without the plastic and could have a big impact with widespread adoption.


What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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