Kay Hill holding resuable coffee cup

TACKLING WASTE ONE CUP AT A TIME

A pilot reusable cup scheme will be launched by Forth Valley Food and Drink network today (Wednesday 1 June) in a bid to tackle single-use cup waste and littering.

Five Forth Valley cafés have signed up to the environmentally friendly trial initiative, which will see 4,000 reusable cups distributed to customers free of charge.

From today, customers at The Station Café (Aberfoyle), St Mocha (Balmaha & Carbeth), Brig o’Turk Tearoom and The Broch Café (Strathyre), will be able to pick up their favourite hot beverage in a complimentary reusable cup. With the option to return the cup after use to be cleaned and reused by other customers, or to keep it for future use at any café accepting reusable cups.

The initiative, supported by Forth Valley and Lomond Local Action Group’s Climate Nudge Fund, has the potential to stop over 200,000 single-use cups from being sent to local landfill sites annually.

It is hoped the scheme will save over 200,000 disposable cups from being sent to landfill.

Forth Valley Food and Drink Network co-ordinator Carolyn McGill said: “Thanks to the Climate Nudge fund we’ve been able to supply five local cafés with a batch of reusable cups equivalent to the number of single-use cups they would go through in a week.

“Switching away from disposable to reusable containers is one of the simplest ways we can help the planet and although it might seem like a minor change, it can make an enormous difference.”

Zero Waste Scotland estimates that a staggering 200 million single-use coffee cups are thrown away in Scotland each year.

Carolyn added: “We want to make it easy and convenient for people to choose to reuse, so we’ve done away with the cup deposit charges normally associated with this type of scheme.

“By making reusable cups available completely free of charge, we hope the scheme will lead to a big drop in single-use cup waste and littering this summer.”

Customers can find out more about the scheme and leave their feedback by scanning the QR code.

The pilot comes as the Scottish Government plans a mandatory charge for single-use coffee cups and containers to cut down on waste.

One of the first businesses to join the scheme is Loch Lomond Coffee Company, which would normally go through over 3000 compostable cups a week across its three coffee shops in Aberfoyle (Station Café), Balmaha and Carbeth.

Owner Stuart Fraser said: “Many of our customers already carry a reusable cup with them, but this pilot will massively accelerate our race to net zero alongside other green measures such as using coffee grounds to run our biomass heating and solar charged electric vehicles to make our deliveries.

“There will be no charge for the cups and if customers reuse them at any of our outlets, they’ll also receive a 25p discount off their next coffee with us.”

Kay Hill hopes the pilot will also cut down on littering.

Kay Hill, owner of The Brig o’Turk Tearoom hopes that the reusable cup scheme will also cut down on littering.

She said: “Being based in the heart of the National Park, we’re acutely aware of the impact of single-use waste cups on the environment – even the compostable kind. So much so, that we stopped serving takeaway coffees in lockdown unless customers had their own cup.

“We’re keen to reduce our café’s carbon footprint wherever possible and are excited to be working with Forth Valley Food and Drink on this new initiative. The cup scheme is a great idea and ties in with our values on sustainability.

“To incentivise the switch, we’ll be offering customers a 25p discount when they reuse their cup with us.”

Strathyre’s award winning eaterie, The Broch Café, has also signed up to the pilot scheme.

Owner Bill Lindsay said: “We need to tackle the café industry’s obsession with single use cups head on.

“The huge environmental cost of manufacturing and recycling single use cups, whether that be compostable or recyclable, is totally unacceptable.

“We all have a responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint and by choosing to use a reusable cup we can all make a difference.” 

For further information on the scheme visit forthvalleyfoodanddrink.org/reuse-me-cups

Pick up your free cup while stocks last at participating cafés.

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