Imagine a world where communities are collectively responsible for local, reusable resources.
What we do
GO2CUP is a platform cooperative for local businesses who accept returnable, reusable cups.
We're creating a movement of co-creators.
We facilitate communities to actively participate in a shared responsibility of washing local cups. Rather than relying on large scale recycling infrastructure, or complex collection systems, we remove barriers for communities to participate and connect participants so we can create our future waste free world together.
How does it work?
When businesses register they:
- Nominate which cups they accept for return
- Nominate what system they will use to implement returnable cups with their community.
Businesses can kick off with a free option utilising mugs, jars, or old coffee cups contributed from the community. Or the business can choose to purchase cups through the cooperative to get the cup (and lid) that suits their customers and their business (often storage space is an issue).
The business then nominates implementing:
- A purely returnable cup (no strings attached)
- A deposit scheme
- A loyalty card (10 returned cups equals a free coffee)
- Any other system (better ideas could very well emerge through the cooperative).
GO2CUP adds the participating business to our online map so people can find their closest dishwashing champion:
The map includes the above details about how they are implementing their returnable, reusable cup option. We provide educational/promotional material for staff and the community. We also provide staff specific training so businesses have everything they need to successfully implement a cup library that significantly reduces their disposable cup use.
We add participating businesses to our Facebook page where we learn and grow together. Here business leaders discuss:
- Better cup options
- How to overcome dishwashing challenges
- How to better have meaningful conversations with their community.
Why a Platform Cooperative?
People are crying out for ways they can participate in creating a better future. We are clearing a path for people to join, removing barriers and asking them nicely to participate. We don't need everyone to change their habits, we just need enough people. Once we reach a social tipping point it will no longer be acceptable to be wasteful. At this point the rest of the businesses, communities and governments will have no choice but to be responsible for their resources or risk becoming irrelevant.
As GO2CUP grows it becomes better placed to source reusable cups on a large scale making it cheaper to get the most appropriate returnable, reusable cups to participating businesses.
In essence GO2CUP is a retailer of reusable cups only to businesses who are willing to explore utilising them in a returnable way. With the combined purchase power of the cooperative, GO2CUP creates a market advantage against other distributers; all while creating the largest collective dishwashing collective in the world.
The story so far
Over the past two years GO2CUP has been exploring different ways to implement a reusable cup. We have 16 participating cafes operating a returnable, reusable cup.
Below are a few lessons we'd like to share to other initiatives in this competition exploring reusable options:
- A small amount of regular returnable cups can equate to a significant reduction in disposable cup use at a business.
- Just by having the option at the cafe participating businesses have noticed an increase in the quantity of their customers bringing their own cups to use. The businesses can lead the way towards creating a community culture that no longer accepts wasteful habits associated with disposable cups.
- There is a business case for a returnable cup. A customer often returns with their cup and their wallet. So the business saves money not having to purchase a disposable cups and the customer returns for a repeat purchase. It is a great way to improve customer loyalty and create a human connection rather than being a strict food and beverage monetary value transaction.
- People have their favourite cafe and generally return to that. We explored a "travelling" cup but found that people want to return to their favourite spot. Also cafes don't like the idea that their cups and their customers will end up at another business.
- Central washing facilities and complex collection systems are expensive to operate and challenging to fund through businesses who often survive on small profit margins. We fund our central washing facility mainly through our waste free events with our paying customer in most cases being local government.
- Cafes and communities are more willing to participate when they feel they own the system they are participating in.
Connect with us
We're really looking forward to being apart of this journey with the rest of you. If you'd like to connect and share perspectives definitely get in contact through this platform or the details below!