Delete Cups not your Coffee

Delete Cups not your Coffee

In the UK, we use 7 million disposable coffee cups daily – that’s 2.5 billion yearly, with only 1% recycled. Sheffield Action on Plastic hopes to change that and is encouraging Sheffield’s independent coffee shops and cafes to join the Reusable Revolution and start selling hot drinks in reusable cups.  Now, you may have seen this type of scheme before, and unfortunately, many have failed, but Sheffield Action on Plastic and their new partnership with Delete Cups is here to change how it’s done. This exciting new development could help traders, boost the economy, and significantly reduce the plastic Sheffield folk use daily. 

Sheffield Action on Plastic’s Offering

Sheffield Action on Plastic is a local environmental community organisation whose mission is to work with residents, businesses and organisations in our community to reduce single-use plastics. They’ve partnered with Delete Cups to offer reusable cups to Sheffield shops and cafes that currently sell hot drinks.  They’ll provide the reusable cups, the system to manage them, and staff training…. All of which is free. 

But how does it work? It is as simple as one, two, three. First, you go to your local coffee spot and get your favourite drink in one of the new reusable cups. A small deposit of £2 is auto-charged to your card when you pay for your drink. Second, after finishing your beverage, you can return with your cup to the same place or another venue and get your £2 deposit back. Lastly, your cup is carefully cleaned, recirculated and ready to use for the next delicious cup of joe.  This seems more accessible and straightforward than using a disposable cup but with many more benefits. 

The Benefits of Delete Cups

For customers, they don’t have to remember to bring their own reusable coffee cup with them and feel bad that they’ve forgotten it, as they can hire the reusable cup instead. By joining in, they are doing their bit for the environment, reducing single-use plastics and producing less waste going to incineration. Plus, you can feel good about being part of Sheffield’s Reusable Revolution!

For the cafes and shops, there are even more benefits. They save money on purchasing single-use disposable cups, save on waste and can promote this as an opportunity for Corporate Social responsibility. Of course, they also get to be part of Sheffield’s Reusable Revolution. Plus, they can meaningfully contribute to Sheffield City’s Goals for a Green and Resilient Sheffield, where we all act faster on the climate & environmental crisis, prepare for a changing future, and prioritise the health and wellbeing of our city’s people and nature. 

This benefits the local economy, environment, our nation’s health and the wider world. Plastic is a significant pollutant that can hurt wildlife, pollute our waters and soil, and has even been linked to damaging human health. Plastic-lined cups for coffee and tea are one of the biggest littering problems in the city, costing taxpayers money to clean up and leaving our streets simply looking awful. This step towards reusables in our city’s cafes and coffee houses is just one of many we need to fight the climate crisis.

How can I help?

So, how can you help? Well, if you are just your average Joe who loves a cup of joe, then you can ask your favourite shop or cafe to join the reusable revolution. There is no cost to them; they will only require a sink or dishwasher to wash the cups if they are on permanent premises. For mobile traders they can either choose to wash cups themselves or request Sheffield Action on Plastic to do this for them.

If you own or work for a cafe or shop that sells hot drinks and think this sounds like a good fit, contact Sheffield Action on Plastic. They will arrange a chat or visit to come and show you the system. While they work with many traditional hot drink sellers, they also deliver this exclusive offer to event venues.  There is no need for customers to download any apps, pay via cash, or for customers to queue up to return their cups. The system they have makes it simple for customers and staff to use. Several cafes have already signed up, including Union St, Dana, Steam Yard, Corner Store, Tonco, and The Hop Coffee.

Sheffield Action on Plastic can also help support other businesses that use disposable products and help them switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives. They have recently been supporting businesses after the recent ban on single-use plastics and offer awards and publicity to businesses and community organisations working to reduce single-use plastics. They also organise and run Plastic Free Markets to help the public transition to a Plastic Free lifestyle.  We would love to see Sheffield take on the Reusable Revolution in 2024, so if you want to help, it’s time to delete cups for your coffee in the new year.

To learn more or to get in touch with Sheffield Action on Plastic, visit their website: 

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