Saving Paper Cups

The University of Winchester has tackled its consumption of single use disposable cups head on and dramatically changed consumer behaviour/the way people buy hot and cold drinks in the cafes on campus. They have introduced a giveaway of 5500 reusable Gum-tec Americano Mugs to students and staff, combined with a a bold new pricing structure for hot and cold drinks. The results have been striking.

In November 2016, The University of Winchester reduced the price of all hot and cold drinks sold in the cafes on campus by 25p and introduced a 25p surcharge back on top of all drinks served in a Gum-tec Americano Mug/reusable mug. This has resulted in 28,000 fewer disposable cups (which are not fully recyclable) being used. Meanwhile, sales of drinks in Gum-tec Americano Mugs/reusable mugs have leapt from three in 100 to an average of 33 in every 100 drinks. If the University can sustain sales in reusable cups at a third, they should save 63,000 cups in a year (nationally, this would equate to a saving of 825 million cups on the 2.5million disposable cups used in the UK every year!).

Most impressively, the reusable Gum-tec Americano Mugs enable staff and students to play a part in closing the recycling loop: the mugs are made in part from recycled chewing gum, which is collected on campus – an innovative aspect of the project, which has captured the imagination of the University community.

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