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How Many Coffee Cups Do You Throw Away Every Week? NYC Pilots a 'Good To-Go' Coffee Cupcyle Program

Laura LaPerche

7 Million Coffee Cups are thrown away every day. The DO School is coming up with a solution to NYC's coffee cup problem. This week they're piloting a 'Cupcycle' system at a Brooklyn coffee shop. It's like Citi Bike for coffee cups, an innovative solution to a complex problem.
Want to be a part of it? Swing by the very first cafe to cupcycle: Brooklyn Roasting Company 25 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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  • Rachel Biel

    What about carrying your own cups around? I just posted about using handmade mugs in the work place as the waste for cups there is tremendous. There just need to be more options everywhere to bring our own containers for all kinds of shopping, much like bringing your own bags to shop.

  • Laura LaPerche

    @Thierry Totally, they're doing the pilot program to get some numbers and adapt. The coffee shop saves 20-30 cents a cup and the customer saves 25 cents. The real question is whether people return the cups, which is what @andrasek is getting at, at the shop it seemed like people really liked that they could drop the cup off and the coffee shop would wash it for them, but they don't have the numbers of cup returns yet. They were talking about some type of barcode or card swipe system that would give incentive to keep the cups in the cycle and not just have them pile up in your cabinets

  • andrasek

    1: You can throw the cup into the first trash bin on the corner and still keep the lid.
    2: But you don't want to keep the lid because it's stained with coffee. You can't put it into your pocket or purse.

  • Paris Marron

    Nice! I found the site a little hard to find info about the program, but this page was the most helpful:

    I have noticed a similar problem with internet shopping/shipping. I have been hoping Amazon will partner with FedEx or UPS or USPS in the future for reusable shipping containers that can be flattened and returned to set an example for the rest of the online retailers.

  • Thierry Phillips

    This might only be a feel-good measure, as I didn't see any actual cost-return analysis- BUT, any action that actually forces us to think for even a fraction of a second of our normally-oblivious consumption habits is a good idea.