Around 1 million fewer paper cups are now used in Hamburg over 2016, according to Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment. This comes after the launch of Recup’s recyclable plastic cup in Hamburg. Recup’s deposit system can be found in 229 cafés, shops and bakeries. Cups can be purchased and returned after paying a deposit. Around 320,000 disposable cups per hour or nearly 3 billion per annum are used in Germany.
Hamburg’s standard to go coffee cup
Last year, the Munich-based Recup was chosen as the provider of standard coffee mugs to go after the City of Hamburg issued a tender for concepts outlining a standard deposit and return system. Coffee drinkers buy their coffee to-go in the reusable cup, pay a deposit of EUR 1 and get a better price over disposable cups. Empty cups can be returned to any participating café in Germany. The company’s robust, recyclable cup has a service life of more than 500 rinses. Recup already operates the deposit system in several cities with a rising number of participating cafés, bakeries and bistros, which are easily found on the app. Around 60,000 cups are presently in circulation across Hamburg.
In late 2017, Hamburg’s Ministry of the Environment and Energy launched the so-called Kehr.Wieder campaign to tackle the rising mounds of paper cups. People are encouraged to bring their own cups in return for a discount of EUR 0.10 to 30 cents on coffee. This offer is available in 260 bakeries. However, the cups constitute only a small part of waste. Kerstan noted: “That’s why we now also have to look e.g. superfluous packaging in supermarkets or the catering sector. The Hamburg-based start-up In guter Gesellschaft has also set itself the goal of avoiding waste by using reusable containers, paper or reusable packaging.