TWO young Oxford entrepreneurs have launched a reusable coffee cup scheme in the city.

Julian Godding, 23, and Ina Bierylo, 22, are hoping to cut unnecessary waste by encouraging cafes and the public to be more eco-friendly.

The friends, who met while studying at Oxford University’s St Peters College, have already got the backing of nine local coffee shops for the scheme, which allows coffee drinkers to return their reusable cups to participating cafes at no extra cost.

Oxford Mail:

Each time you return a cup, you get a stamp, with six stamps getting you a free coffee.

Through their company, Co-Cup, the pair say they are saving more than 100 cups a day from landfill.

Mr Godding explained: “Last year we threw away 2.5 billion coffee cups in the UK despite the increased take up of reusable cups.

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“In fact, only one per cent of the population regularly uses a reusable coffee cup and 99.5 per cent of coffee cups end up in landfill.

"We felt this wasn’t good enough so decided to start a novel returnable coffee cup service which allows cafes to eliminate the waste but not the convenience.”

The scheme is similar to a number of other initiatives which have been launched in the wake of increasing public awareness about the problem of plastic pollution.

An Oxford Brookes graduate won £1,000 funding to launch reusable coffee cup hire company OneCup in September, while campaigners last summer said they hoped to make the county the first to go single-use disposable coffee cup.

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The cafes supporting Co-Cup are The Handlebar, Jericho Coffee Traders, Queen’s Lane Coffee House, Modern Art Oxford, George Street Social, The Organic Deli, Common Ground, Oxford Botanic Garden and Jericho Coffee Traders Roastery.

Hoping to expand across the country, Mr Godding continued: "If all cafes in the UK transitioned to Co-Cup, each year we would preserve 43,000 trees, remove 40,000 tonnes of waste, reduce carbon emission by 11,000 tonnes, save 1.5 billion litres of water and 320 million kWh of electricity.

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"Co-Cup is also bringing benefits to the local economy by helping local independent businesses thrive through reducing their capital costs while making it easy for them to reduce their environmental impact. It’s solutions with this combination of benefits to the environment, society and economy that we believe will have the greatest impact and success."

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