An estimated 2.5 billion takeaway cups (30,000 tonnes) are used and thrown away each year in the UK, with 99% currently not recycled. The scale of the problem is huge. In recent years it has fast become a high-priority issue for consumers, traders, councils, and governments when seeking to reduce our impact on the planet, but any meaningful change has been slow.
Confusion and contamination
Recycling attempts and substitution with biodegradables have led to consumer confusion and contamination of collected materials. They have also failed to significantly reduce carbon impact and the volumes of waste going to landfills, incineration or the open environment. Recycling is not always the best solution when we could be enabling consumers to refill and reuse instead.
Scheme enabling retailers to drive down waste as a business community
The St Ives New Year’s Eve Refill Cup Scheme enables retailers to order reusable cups at a low cost which can then be reused and refilled across town on New Year’s Eve. This is a pilot scheme and if successful we may be able to facilitate St Ives branded reusable cups for other events or even to be used throughout the season. Customers who come in for a drink will be charged £1 for their first reusable cup which can then be reused and refilled throughout venues across town and taken home as a souvenir from the evening. As our event takes place around our iconic harbour with a high risk of cheap light plastics ending up in the ocean we hope attendees will support the scheme which will have huge environmental benefits for the town. PLEASE NOTE: THE SLOOP AND THE UNION WILL NOT BE TAKING PART AND REFILLING CUPS AT THEIR PREMISES.
Saving our oceans and keeping the town clean
This scheme helps conscious consumers to find numerous locations to eat, drink and shop with less plastic, providing them with a network of places to reduce, reuse and refill. Our pilot scheme hopes to tackle the single-use plastic items often found on our beaches or in the oceans by providing a practical solution and championing reuse and refill rather than single-use. By working with businesses and retailers we hope to empower our locals and visitors to tackle plastic pollution. Collective action is key to lasting behaviour change and these cups once reused and refilled can be recycled again to become new cups to reuse and refill.
Enabling tomorrow’s solutions
St Ives BID is a not-for-profit company. We will not be taking any money from this scheme we are merely the organisation buying in bulk on behalf of our businesses to enable them to buy often expensive reusable cups at an affordable price. St Ives BID is committed to supporting innovative projects and new technologies across the waste and recycling sector.