3 unique and interesting ways to deal with disposable coffee cups
We are all trying to address the problem of non recyclable coffee cups. Here at UKVending we offer KeepCups that you quite, literally, keep; but around the world there are other alternative ways to reduce the burgeoning problem of trillions of non recyclable coffee cups finding their way into landfill sites.
In India inspiration was given via the ancient ‘chai wallahs’. Tea is poured into glasses that are then washed and reused. Glass bottles had for years been used across the world from everything from milk to Coca Cola, but fell out of fashion in the western world. So if it is good enough for soda pop and milk why not coffee? That is the argument put forward by Safia Queeshi of CupClub.
“The current model for reusable cups is that the consumer needs to buy the cup and take it in. The ratio of consumers doing that is 2% of all the total coffee sold,” she points out.
Instead, she proposes that the customer joins Cup Club and picks up a reusable cup when they buy their coffee. It can be returned later to one of several collection points. Cup Club is responsible for collecting washing and redistributing the clean cups to participating retailers.
Because the cups are tagged and registered to your account – using RFID, the same technology that’s on an Oyster travel card – Cup Club can text you a reminder if you’ve forgotten to return a cup and charge you if you keep it. CupClub is set to launch in London in January 2018.
Even further east there are yet more ideas. In Hong Kong an engineering student called Tom Chan has patented his TrioCup using the ancient art of paper folding, origami. Essentially TrioCup is a triangular shaped cardboard cup, with sticking out flaps that look a little like Bunny Ears. Once these ‘ears’ are folded down and tucked in close the cardboard cup can take a hot beverage. It also benefits from not having to have a separate plastic lid, making it cheaper and more recyclable than many other alternatives to traditional cups.
Finally, how about disposing of the cup yourself: by eating it! Cupffee is a concept developed in Bulgaria and looking a little like an old fashion ice cream cone but in a cup shape this waffle recipe ‘cup’ will hold your coffee for up to 40 minutes and even if you chose not to eat your cup it will biodegrade within a couple of weeks naturally.