West com­pany leads the way in re­cy­cled, re­us­able cof­fee cups

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - News - BY MARTIN HESP

A Cor­nish com­pany led by a de­signer who used to work for Dyson is lead­ing the UK mar­ket when it comes to mak­ing and sell­ing items made from re­cy­cled pa­per cups and other throw-away items.

Now the com­pany, called ashort­walk, has launched a re­us­able cof­fee cup for the UK mar­ket, which is leak-proof and will last for ten years.

The rCUP is the first re­cep­ta­cle of its kind to be sold in this coun­try from re­cy­cled pa­per cups – and its man­u­fac­ture could soon be mov­ing to Corn­wall, ac­cord­ing to com­pany founder Dan Dicker.

Staff at the Per­ran­porth­based com­pany are pas­sion­ate about cre­at­ing prod­ucts made from waste ma­te­ri­als for a more sus­tain­able fu­ture and al­ready sell di­verse items such as tide-clocks made from re­cy­cled UK waste and house name-plaques made from re­cy­cled plant pots.

Dan left his job as an in­ven­tor and de­signer at Dyson in 2003, “to cre­ate prod­ucts from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, in the UK, a short walk from the sea.”

The rCUP is his most re­cent in­ven­tion and has been de­signed with prac­ti­cal porta­bil­ity in mind.

He told the WMN: “From a func­tional per­spec­tive con- vert­ing used cups into a poly­mer means you have a far more ro­bust prod­uct than, say, a china cup. From an en­vi­ron­men­tal per­spec­tive there are two rea­sons we chose cups – it meant we could cap­ture a sin­gle-use prod­uct and turn it back into some­thing that can be used for years and then even­tu­ally reused.

“This con­ver­sion from a lin­ear to cir­cu­lar model is ar­guably far more ben­e­fi­cial to the en­vi­ron­ment than us­ing a lin­ear china cup, where even­tu­ally those re­sources and en­ergy used within that cup will end up be­ing lost.

“Fi­nally and im­por­tantly, mak­ing the rCUP from cups pro­vides liv­ing proof to the pub­lic that a seem­ingly worth­less used pa­per cup has value.”

He added: “Func­tion­al­ity is ev­ery­thing. That’s why we’ve de­signed rCUP to be com­pletely leak proof. You can carry rCUP any­where with­out spilling a drop and pop it into your bag with con­fi­dence.”

Dan points out that here in the UK we throw away seven mil­lion cof­fee cups a day – with less than 1% be­ing re­cy­cled.

The Cor­nish com­pany be­gan col­lab­o­rat­ing with en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity Hub­bub and re­cy­cling com­pany Sim­ply Cups on The Square Mile Chal­lenge – a City of Lon­don ini­tia­tive launched in April 2017 – which aimed to col­lect and re­cy­cle half a mil­lion dis­pos­able cof­fee cups in a sin­gle month. In the end more than half a mil­lion cof­fee cups were col­lected – all of which were re­cy­cled into some­thing new.

“The life span of the rCUP is ten years, at which point it can be re­cy­cled,” said Dan – a fact which caused him to men­tion this week’s Bud­get...

“The 25p ‘latte levy’ wasn’t in­tro­duced by the Chan­cel­lor in this Bud­get as some peo­ple had an­tic­i­pated – but with some high-street cof­fee shops im­pos­ing a pa­per cup charge ear­lier this year of up to 50p per hot drink, the rCUP (rrp £12) will have paid for it­self within 24 uses.

“Star­bucks in­tro­duced a 5p pa­per cup charge ear­lier this year, which saw the num­ber of con­sumers us­ing a re­us­able cup in stores lo­cated across Lon­don shoot up by 156% in just six weeks – a huge step in the right di­rec­tion.”


Dan Dicker and his re­cy­cled, leakproof, re­us­able cof­fee cups

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