PROJECT OVERVIEW: We throw away 7 million single use cups every day in the UK. Half a million of these become litter and only a tiny proportion of the cups are recycled. The founders of Shrewsbury Cup, Sophie Peach and Alison Thomas, wanted to work on a local solution to eliminate this problem. The concept was a reusable coffee cup available at point of sale on a £1 deposit return basis.
PROJECT OBJECTIVES: The company needed support with a project that explored the feasibility of a takeaway coffee cup deposit scheme in Shrewsbury to reduce non-recyclable waste. The project draws on a scheme that operates successfully in the city of Frieberg, Germany, where people take pride in utilising a reusable cup that is given at a deposit cost from participating businesses when first ordering a hot drink. This cup may then be taken to any other participating business who may refill the cup or return the deposit, wash the cup and put it back into circulation for the next customer.
PROJECT SOLUTIONS: CREST@UCS supported with market research to analyse consumer behaviour patterns, and pitch development for Shrewsbury BID. Alison Thomas says, “Thank you so much to CREST for their advice. The best thing that could have happened to us at the time was our Dragon’s Den experience with them.” Sophie Peach and Alison Thomas, co-founders, launched Shrewsbury Cup in April 2019. The cups are now available in 22 cafes in and around Shrewsbury including Stop Cafe at University Centre Shrewsbury.