While coffee cups are recyclable, the picture is more complicated than it sounds. They aren’t usually accepted in household collection schemes and, although they can be returned to be recycled at some high street coffee chains, 99.75% of coffee cups in the UK are not currently recycled. This means that as a nation Britain throw away around 2.5bn single-use coffee cups annually.
To combat this, tech-enabled reusable food and drink packaging solution start-up Cauli has today unveiled the what it described as the ‘next phase of the reuse revolution’ with the launch of their fully reusable and recyclable CauliCups.
Manufactured sustainably in the Czech Republic, the cups are injection moulded and made from 100% polypropylene, which is a fully recyclable material. They can be reused 400 times before being returned to manufacturers to be recycled into new products.
Following successful implementation of their reusable CauliBox lunchboxes, Cauli’s partners asked it to provide a solution for reusable coffee cups, noting these to be a key area of waste.
Over the past six months, Cauli has worked to develop a new approach, producing cups and technology that are now ready for launch. Available in 10oz and 12oz size, with 16oz cups in the pipeline for the future, initial orders have come from Barts Health, NHS Trust and a number of banks in Canary Wharf, the start-up revealed.
“Cauli’s mission is to make sustainable dining as accessible as possible. We are delighted to enable our catering partners to eliminate disposable coffee cups, one of the most difficult types of waste to recycle. I love caffeine as much as I love sustainability, and we are delighted to say our users do not have to choose between a hot cup of joe or the planet anymore,” Cauli co-founder and CEO Josephine Liang commented.
Caulis’s mission is to help build a circular economy to tackle the 11 billion pieces of food packaging waste that are generated in the UK every year. Within their closed-loop system the containers are used, returned to the return points (CauliKiosks), washed and repeatedly reused. Once a CauliBox or CauliCup reaches the end of its life, Cauli arranges recycling. Alongside this, partners are provided with environmental impact statistics to help achieve their CSR goals, while users earn CauliCoins each time they use a CauliBox or CauliCup which can be collected and redeemed as sustainable discounts and rewards.
Since inception in 2019, they have forged over 20 commercial partnerships for their award-winning CauliBoxes, counting Societe Generale, Westminster City Council and various NHS Hospital trusts amongst their clients. Up to July 2022, Cauli customers have prevented 16,907 disposables entering landfill, a CO2 saving of 3,991 KG or the equivalent of 6.4 return flights from London to New York.