Chester’s first reusable returnable cup scheme will launch next week at Chester Market (Tues 23rd May 7pm) . The scheme follows 4 years of hard work and planning by Chester’s Eco Communities group.
Helen Tandy of Eco Communities : “We launched in 2019 with support from the council to apply for funding streams. Our first project focused on litter picking, and the second funded project is the reusable coffee cup scheme” Following an application for the council’s Spacehive funding the group now have a pot of money to purchase the supply of reusable returnable coffee cups.
“It’s estimated that 97% of people own a reusable coffee cup most of which stay at home in the kitchen drawer! People end up using a single use cup, and we find its one of the most littered items in Chester. The idea is that you dont need to remember your own cup, you go to one of ten participating cafes. They have a stock of the cups, and will pay a rental fee to use them- with the the hope that the cost to the cafe will be less than what the cafe pays for single use cups. Its not a profit making scheme its a litter reducing scheme. You get your coffee from Cafe A ,and drop your dirty cup off at Cafe B and it goes back into circulation. “ Currently its estimated that over 10 billion takeaway coffee cups are used annually, with the vast majority going to landfill or incineration.
10.1 billion takeaway cups used annually in the UK- all going into landfill or incineration
The coffee club scheme will cost £2.50 to join . Helen says : “We really want to build a community of people and make sure people understand how the system works, its really about the circularity of the scheme, we don’t want people taking the cups home. We branded it as Cheshire because we want to spread this out through the county. We have other regions that want to go ahead once we’ve launched.
Launching the scheme at the Market is especially appropriate given the Market’s focus on sustainability. “The scheme really matches the philosophy of what the market is all about. The team have got 3 quirky water fountains installed, a Tuk Tuk, a TARDIS and a butchers bike. What better way to encourage people to refill their water bottle?
“We needed the Market support to get the cafes involved as the cups will be washed in the communal washing area.” Anyone attending the launch night can sign up for the scheme and details of the 10 participating initial ten cafes will be revealed. Alongside the cup scheme Eco Communities are heavily involved in the forthcoming Green Expo which will take place on June 15th- 17th with more details to follow soon.
For more details about Eco Communities visit https://www.facebook.com/ecocommunitiesuk