As the world around us moves toward a circular economy, we want to ensure that the products we sell are used and enjoyed. This involves every aspect of the business, from design to product stewardship. Most importantly, it demands we consider the customer journey.
A large part of our journey has been building a brand that speaks to the behaviour as much as the product. We are very mindful that a KeepCup unused in the cupboard is part of the problem, not the solution.
Based on a behavioural change research, reaching a 25 per cent reuse rate is the tipping point to transform behaviour.
Give permission Make it clear that reuse is accepted, endorsed and celebrated, particularly at point of refill.1
Get influential Focus on, and encourage, early adopters – a consistent demonstration of reuse by people at all levels adds credibility and influence.
Track your impact Setting and measuring reuse targets is a great motivator – as is celebrating your wins! We have a reuse calculator tool to help you track the number of disposables you have diverted from landfill.
The stick, not the carrot Charging extra for disposable cups means that customers pay for the waste they create. It is important that this communication is managed with integrity and supported by whole business behaviours.
Be respectful Don’t underestimate taking people’s views into account – get people on board before you act. Understand and seek to address any concerns.
Do the work Does your operational service model support reuse? Consider how will KeepCups be handed over, washed, refilled, stored – planning and making reuse easy is critical.
We love working with and supporting likeminded people and businesses to go disposable free.
The Wildcat café in Fort William has gone single-use free. From the Scottish Highlands, this café serves as inspiration for others around the globe.
Based on the 85% drop in use of plastic bags when Scotland introduced the 5p charge in October 2014, the Wildcat initially brought in a 10p charge for each coffee served in a single-use cup. When the cup levy didn’t drive reuse as much as expected, the Wildcat went a step further, going single-use free for six days. After a successful trial they haven’t looked back and are now completely free from single-use coffee cups.
The Wildcat cafe encourages us to take five minutes, sit down and enjoy a coffee. But for those who don’t have time to stay, they’ve got a range of options. Left your KeepCup at home? No problem. Choose from the wall of second-hand porcelain mugs. Thanks to a partnership with the local council, The Wildcat has cup drop off points at train stations and bus stops so both you and your mug can make your way home.
LinkedIn Dublin HQ is now single use cup free.
KeepCups were gifted by the company to all employees and are now in starter packs for new recruits. Upon arrival of KeepCups to the campus, disposable cups were immediately removed.
The initiative has been led by employees (a group of sustainability champions) working closely with on-site baristas. Priority pouring allows KeepCup users to skip the coffee queue – cementing and rewarding behaviour change. For those who forget their KeepCups, ceramics are the second option.
Reuse is supported with a communications campaign, celebrating frequent reusers with shout-outs. As a result of this initiative with KeepCup, LinkedIn Dublin have managed to remove 5,000 single use cups from circulation each week.
Following their success with single-use cups, LinkedIn has now also removed disposable food boxes, with plastic bottles slated to go next.
Melbourne’s Broadbean Organic Grocer has reached 27% reuse rates, saving over 34,000 disposable coffee cups from going to landfill in one year alone. A highly visible KeepCup display coupled with a 50c reuse discount has been key to driving this change.
Reuse ties into Broadbean’s overarching sustainability ethos. Their other initiatives include using 10 litre milk bladders rather than 2 litre bottles to divert over 8500 plastic milk bottles from landfill each year.
For many reuse is the beginning of a journey to reduce the consequences of convenience behaviour.
Long term partners Prufrock Coffee Roasters have successfully launched the first KeepCup Exchange program. The stack of white and black KeepCups sitting atop the coffee machine signifies the café’s commitment to reduce and reuse.
Customers participate in the scheme by purchasing a co-branded Prufrock KeepCup, at full retail price, swapping it each time they return to Prufrock for a takeaway.
For Prufrock, the KeepCup Exchange speeds up service flow and encourages customer loyalty, and for customers, the scheme lowers barriers to reuse.
As Prufrock Coffees founder, Gwilym Davies puts it ‘disposable cups are rubbish’.
Bank of England
The Bank of England has skyrocketed from 10 to 80 percent reuse rates amongst their 4000 employees.
A collaboration between staff, senior management and on-site catering underlies the success of this story, all rallying together around a common goal. The Bank’s reuse campaign kick-started with the Bank selling KeepCups from our Changemakers color range. Individual cup ownership was considered essential to ensure the cups were valued and therefore used.
Senior management endorsed and helped execute the reusable cup campaign, alongside other employees. It tied into the Bank’s overarching sustainability strategy and was supported by a series of events, including lunchtime speakers.
Catering was on board from the outset, encouraging reuse at point of sale through a series of initiatives which eventually led to an additional charge for disposables – the last resort, not the go-to.
A strong internal communications campaign has allowed staff to rally around the Bank’s reuse targets and celebrate wins along the way.
Glasgow Coffee Festival
Joining forces with Dear Green Coffee Roasters, we helped to make the 2018 Glasgow Coffee Festival disposable cup free.
By notifying invitees prior to the event, we found 30 per cent came with their own cup – some with an old favourite porcelain, and even some early adopters with original shiny KeepCups.
We provided cup washing stations at the event, so attendees could rinse and reuse their cups throughout the day. KeepCups were also available to buy or borrow.
Attendees tracked the number of single use cups saved from landfill, which came to the impressive total of 18,530 across the two day event. The positive atmosphere was infectious and was a highlight of the event.
Single O Coffee Roasters
Specialty coffee roasters Single O cut their single use cup waste in half in a twelve month period, by encouraging their customers to embrace reuse.
Single O implemented a series of initiatives, including installing a short stay bar – inspired in part by the standing espresso culture of Italy – to encourage people to drink in, loaning out ceramic cups, introducing branded KeepCups, and making charitable donations for each takeaway cup saved.
Between May 2017 and May 2018 the team managed to reduce their single use cup waste by an impressive 47 per cent. How good is that.
Let’s inspire each other
Do you know of a success story where a café, business or event has gone disposable free? Are you interested in creating a reuse program to deliver a disposable free event, or to roll out in a cafés or workplace? We'd love to hear from you.