Scheme saves one million cups from landfill

University scheme has saved more than one million single-use plastic cups from landfill. 

The YORCUP scheme at the University of York allows customers to purchase a cup which they can use again when buying a hot drink to go. 

The scheme also lets customers hand back their dirty cups at any University outlet while keeping their green sleeve. The next time they wish to purchase a hot drink, they simply show their sleeve to get their drink in a clean cup and avoid the 20p latte levy.

The initiative was launched after the catering and hospitality team calculated that more than 500,000 single-use plastic cups had been used in their outlets in 2018. 

Since then 1,1908,329 cups have avoided landfills over the three years the scheme has been running. 

assorted-color disposable cup lot

Jo Hossell, sustainability and Inclusivity Engagement office at the University of York said: ‘YORCUP is a well-designed solution to a common waste problem; it is easy to adopt, it benefits the users and it has clear benefits for sustainability. It has been good to see staff and students taking ownership of the scheme and citing it as an example of what they do to be more sustainable.’

Patrick O’Donnell, President of University of York Students’ Union, added: ‘The success of the YorCup scheme shows that both students and staff care deeply about our environment, both locally and nationally, and about making a difference. The widespread take-up and adoption of the scheme, across both University and YUSU outlets, shows that it’s easy to play your part in making our University a more sustainable community.’

To date, a total of 6,493 YORCUPS have been purchased and the latte levy has raised £54,327.76.

The University is reinvesting the funds back into sustainable initiatives on campus and in the local community. This includes the installation of single-use plastic cup recycling bins on campus as well as YORCUP drop-off bins. Food has also been donated to local food banks and money gifted to a local ‘pay as you go’ cafe.



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