Universities leading the way on coffee cups


Several universities (see table below)  have taken the initiative in the war on plastic waste by introducing a charge for single use coffee cups along with other incentives.

In 2016, a study undertaken by Cardiff university on behalf of Bewley’s coffee roasters found that a combination of measures had a significant impact on customer behaviour.  This  included

  • charging for disposable cups
  • environmental messaging in cafés
  • availability of reusable cups
  • free distribution of reusable cups

Taken together these measures produced a significant increase in reusable cup usage.

A charge for a disposable cup is now a common feature of many university coffee cup schemes but there are some interesting differences – highlighted in the table below.

University Details of scheme
Any reusable cup allowed or 10p charge for a single use cup
Ecoffee Cup on sale for £4.50 with first drink free
MyCup loyalty card scheme - get 10 drinks and 11th drink. free
WinchesterAny reusable cup allowed or 25p charge for a single use cup.

5,000 Gumdrop cups, made in part from recycled chewing gum, have also been given away to students and staff.

Since 2017, 33 per cent of drinks' sales gave been in reusable cups.
ExeterAny reusable cup allowed or 25p charge for a single use cup.

Keepcup on sale for £8.99
SheffieldCampus Cup scheme
10p charge for a disposable.

Pay £5 deposit for the cup sleeve which provides you with a Campus Cup when you buy a drink. 20p discount for using Campus Cup. Return cup to any participating cafe and just keep your cup sleeve.

Use any reusable cup or 10p for a disposable.

Open to anyone in Sheffield!

UCLAny reusable cup allowed or 15p charge for a single use cup.
EdinburghAny reusable cup allowed or 25p to purchase a single use cup.
SussexStudents encouraged to recycle paper cups by Simply Cups.

10p discount for any reusable cup.
Any more universities like to be added to this list? Please leave a comment.

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Physics teaching, parkrunning, community minded, optimist.

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