The City of Hamburg plans to introduce a returnable cup system and has issued a tender for a privately operated deposit and return system. The deadline for applications is February 23, a press release said Monday. The move comes after Hamburg’s Ministry for the Environment and Energy launched the so-called “Kehr.Wieder” campaign to tackle the rising mounds of paper cups last November 2017. Under the system, people are encouraged to bring their own cups in return for a discount of EUR 0.10 to 30 cents on coffee. Around 250 cafés, bakeries and bistros have joined the alliance.
Applications now being accepted
Commenting after 100 days of the “Kehr.Wieder” campaign, Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment, said: “Millions of disposable cups end up as rubbish after a short period of use. That is an annoying, avoidable waste of resources in many cases. Hamburg’s 'Kehr.Wieder’ alliance offers a convincing opportunity to save the environment and to profit from the discounted cups. Next, we want to sound out how a deposit and return system with a standard cup for spontaneous use when out and about can be set up across Hamburg.” Interested companies can now enter their ideas for a privately operated, deposit-based, returnable cup system. A total of EUR 30,000 is available in one-off, start-up funding. Applicants must adhere to environmental and other criteria. More information can be found here.
Paper cup ban introduced in 2016
In 2016, the Ministry for the Environment and Energy banned disposable cups in the office in Wilhelmsburg. Porcelain cups are now in use there and the measure has avoided around 15,000 paper cups annually. More and more initiatives are emerging in Hamburg to tackle the scourge of paper cups. At present, around 60 million coffee-to-go cups are used annually in Hamburg alone and over 3 billion disposable cups are used across Germany – meaning such cups have an average life cycle of a mere 15 minutes.