YoYo Cups – Dumfries & Galloway Idea Combats Climate Change With Every Takeaway Coffee

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Yoyo Cups, a new Scottish initiative to combat climate change, cut waste and save money with every takeaway tea or coffee has been pioneered in Dumfries and Galloway cafes.

And it’s proving such a success that a large-scale 1,000-cup trial has just been launched at three Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) cafes.

Scots get through 200 million single use cups a year – just one in 400 are recycled and the rest end up as landfill or litter, polluting streets, rivers and oceans. What’s more, materials and transport are making them increasingly costly for caterers.

Yoyo Cups, the country’s brand new reusable cup service, solve the problem – customers pay a modest deposit to get their takeaway drink in a stylish reusable steel cup which is refunded when it’s returned.

Each cup just needs to be used and returned nine times to be carbon neutral and when it eventually needs to be replaced it is 100% recyclable.

Crucially, customers can keep the cup and get it refilled as often as they like then return it to any participating outlet.

Yoyo Cups are being pioneered by Ostrero, a Scottish organisation dedicated to using good design and new thinking to eliminate waste and promote a circular economy.

Co-founders Marian Brown, from Moffat, and Mary Michel, from Edinburgh, are delighted to have teamed up with the Lean Bean Cafe in Thornhill, and Mrs Green’s, The Stove and Kings Café in Dumfries.

Marian said: “We have to get rid of single use cups, they cause immense waste and pollution and the costs – financial and environmental – are unsustainable.
“Our work with the cafes in Dumfries and Galloway is proving there is that Yoyo Cups are a really great alternative – they are popular with customers, benefit businesses and help combat climate change.
“And now having an organisation the size of GCU on board for a large-scale pilot project underlines what a gamechanger this could be.”

Yoyo Cups allow customers to get as many refills as they like and when they want to return the cup they can take it to any participating café.

Ross Mawdesley, Lean Bean owner, said: “Our main aim at Lean Bean is to reduce single use waste. We love that Yoyo Cups give an easy and affordable way for retailers and customers to avoid using takeaway cups.
“Our customers love that they keep their drinks hot or cold, their affordability, and the fact they can return it for a clean one each time.”

The Yoyo Cups name came from Marian’s sons who had been on a trip to a beach and wanted to help find ways to reduce the amount of litter being washed up on the Scottish coast.

She said: “Mary and I felt that a good name was really important to getting across how the scheme worked and to describe the benefits, but nothing we thought of really worked.
“But after a visit to the beach with my children we were talking about it they just said ‘it’s like a yoyo’ and that was it, the magic moment of inspiration.
“The idea just sums up everything, the cups keep being returned to the café, the cafes return their old cups to us, the materials for the cups keep on being returned to make new products – the ultimate in yoyos.”

The benefits of Yoyo Cups for consumers are:

  • Forgotten your reusable cup? No problem!
  • Cost-neutral. Deposit is fully refundable when the cup is returned to any café in the Yoyo Cups network.
  • Convenient and easy to use.
  • Eco-friendly, sustainable, waste-free option on the go.
  • Well-made with double walls to keep drinks hot (or cold) for longer.
  • Cool to the touch.
  • Tracking system lets users see their (46.6g of CO2e per use) carbon savings grow.
  • Highly durable.

The benefits of Yoyo Cups for cafes are:

  • Money saving – cups are leased with a monthly subscription and a deposit not bought.
  • Attract eco-conscious customers by providing a high quality reusable alternative to single-use cups.
  • Cuts waste collection costs.
  • Minimises your café’s carbon footprint.
  • Makes sustainability appealing with attractive design of reusable cups.

Full details are available at https://yoyocups.com.

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