YORCUP success

16/03/2022

The University's reusable cup scheme delivers on its promises

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Image by Tom Page

By Luke Brown

Over one million single-use plastic cups avoided being sent to landfill as a result of the YORCUP scheme, the University has revealed.

The YORCUP scheme, launched in 2019, allows York students to buy a reusable plastic cup for hot drinks on campus.

The cup costs £5, and the first drink with one is free. Using the cup also allows students to avoid the 20p ‘latte levy’, an extra charge on drinks served in single-use plastic cups.

The University decided to introduce the scheme after it calculated that it had used more than 500,000 single-use plastic cups in campus outlets in 2018 alone.

Almost 6,500 YORCUPs have now been bought, helping to reduce waste from single-use plastic cups. In 2021, just 67,968 single-use plastic cups were bought.

A poll by Nouse found that 35 percent of students who responded use a YORCUP, as opposed to 65 percent who do not.

One student told Nouse: “It would be great if they made the design of the cups more appealing. I’m not a massive fan of the colour scheme. It is a bit garish to be honest.”

Patrick O’Donnell, YUSU President, praised the scheme: “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.”

The latte levy has now raised around £54,000, which the University is spending on further sustainability projects. Notably, the University has introduced single-use plastic cup recycling bins and YORCUP drop-off bins on campus.

Jo Hossell, the University’s Sustainability and Inclusivity Engagement Officer, 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.”

Patrick O’Donnell also told Nouse: “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. Students can benefit from cheaper hot drinks in all on-campus venues when taking part in the scheme, and also help to reduce the amount of single use cups going to landfill.

“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."