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English town of Shrewsbury leads the way against tide of coffee cup waste

SHREWSBURY, UK – The first town-wide deposit return scheme for coffee cups in the UK has been launched in Shrewsbury (Shropshire). From April, customers can choose a ‘Shrewsbury Cup’ from some cafes in the town centre as part of a campaign to eliminate single-use cups from the town. The reusable Shrewsbury Cup costs £1 and when used can be returned to any participating cafe or shop, where the customer will have their £1 deposit refunded.

Sophie Peach, co-founder of the Shrewsbury Cup CIC (Community Interest Company), said, “Around 7 million single-use cups are used every day, placing a huge burden on street bins and waste management services across the country, not to mention the half a million cups that end up as litter every day.

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“To put a stop to all this unnecessary waste, we knew we had to find a reusable alternative.

“We have spent a year developing a workable system, so that customers can now choose to have their coffee in a Shrewsbury Cup.

“They simply pay £1 deposit for the cup, they enjoy their drink and can return their cup to any participating cafe to get their £1 back. The cups are then washed ready for the next customer.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support of local cafes and are thrilled to already have nine cafes on board. And we are very grateful to Shrewsbury BID and Morris and Company for their support in getting the Shrewsbury Cup project off the ground.”

The cups come in four different colours, and all participating cafes will have a window sticker displayed and posters in the shop explaining how the scheme works.

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, which is supporting the scheme, said: “This is a superb initiative driven by Ali and Sophie, with great support from business owners in Shrewsbury town centre, to encourage us all to look after our beautiful town and river by reducing waste and cutting carbon emissions

“We really hope the people of Shrewsbury will get behind the scheme and choose to reuse wherever possible and help make it a great success.”