The CupCycling movement

IdealCup owners Steph and Nick Fry started CupCycling in Motueka, Nelson Tasman in 2017 and it has since spread nationwide.

Words Emily Wilton

In 2008 Kiwi coffee company Celcius Coffee underwent a waste audit which showed that the main source of their landfill waste was disposable cups. Upon hearing this, their sister company IdealCup started researching the reusable cup market and was released in 2010.

The locally made, barista-grade, BPA-free reusable cups are designed for a lifetime of use. The cups are made to be dishwasher safe, stain resistant and they have an innovative ‘fin’ design to prevent heat loss.

CupCycling is a programme that launched in 2017. It sees cafes around the country offering an IdealCup reusable cup solution for customers. Instead of getting your coffee in a single-use cup, you can pay a small fee to use an IdealCup (and get a free coffee). The next time you want a coffee, take your IdealCup to any participating CupCycling cafe and they’ll take your cup and replace it with a clean one for your beverage. They’ll wash your old one ready for the next customer, creating the CupCycling effect.

With 92 stores nationwide partaking in this boomerang effect, more than 66,600 cups have been diverted from landfill in the time the CupCycling system has run. If your reusable IdealCup does show signs of wear, the product is entirely recyclable so it can go back to their headquarters in Lower Hutt to be recycled into a whole new cup and the cycle begins again.

“By the end of 2019, it’s estimated there will be more than 200 cafes CupCycling across New Zealand and we couldn’t be happier,” says IdealCup co-owner Steph Fry.

“We are so proud to be able to provide leadership and vision for a cleaner, greener Aotearoa by giving Kiwis the option to reuse, and reduce waste in our landfills, via our CupCycling system.”

Two hundred cafes in total are likely to join the CupCycling system across New Zealand by the end of 2019 with the numbers continuing to rise.



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