A reusable ‘returnable’ cup scheme is to be launched across the city of Bristol this autumn by environmental charity City to Sea.
The initiative, one of eight projects to secure funding from a £1m fund from environmental compliance scheme Ecosurety, aims to prevent 250,000 single-use hot drink cups from entering the waste stream everyday.
The scheme will allow retailers across the city to order and stock reusable cups on a subscription basis that they can then offer to customers.
Retailers will scan a QR code on each cup to “transfer” the ownership of the cup to a customer, who will then be reminded of when and where to return it through a dedicated app.
“We are excited to be part of the Bristol Reuse Cup Scheme via our Ecosurety Exploration Fund,” said Will Ghali, CEO of Ecosurety. “This initiative is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate a shift in consumer behavior by making it easy for people to use refillable cups when they are on the go.
Ghali added that the company would like to see the initiative rolled out across the country “in the near future”.
“Alongside the introduction of mandatory take back of disposable cups by 2024, we believe that reusable cup schemes have an important role to play in reducing disposable packaging waste at point of sale and helping people to reduce their carbon footprint and the amount of packaging they use ,” he said.
The scheme is launched on the same day as polling released by City to Sea found that 93 per cent of UK consumers wanted to see more refill options when they shop.
The research warned that the cost of living crisis could increase the amount of single-use plastic in circulation, with half of respondents noting they were doing less to tackle their consumption of throwaway plastic than they were six months ago as a direct result of the increase in household bills.