Accessibility statement

Single-use cup trial

From Thursday 2 January - Monday 16th March 2020, four outlets on campus (Derwent Cafe, Glasshouse, Hub Cafe and Vedge) took part in a single-use cup trial, where they did not offer single-use takeaway cups. For takeaway drinks, customers needed to provide the barista with their own cup, or customers could join the #YORCUP scheme. We had an incredible responde from both staff and students on campus, and the results speak for themselves.

Hub Cafe

  • We purchase single-use cups monthly for each outlet. During 2020, the monthly average of single-use cup purchases went from 2,383 to just 115.
  • Between January - March 2018 we purchased 7,960 single-use cups for Hub Cafe. Between January - March 2020 we purchased 0.

Derwent Cafe

  • We purchase single-use cups monthly for each outlet. During 2020, the monthly average of single-use cup purchases went from 2,518 to just 242.
  • Between January - March 2018 we purchased 8,748 single-use cups for Derwent Cafe. Between January - March 2020 we purchased 0.

Vedge*

  • We purchase single-use cups monthly for each outlet. During 2020, the monthly average of single-use cup purchases went from 2,781 to just 276.
  • Between January - March 2018 we purchased 9,665 single-use cups for Vedge & Cookies. Between January - March 2020 we purchased 3,320.

How were the YORCUP & discount figures affected?

YORCUP

  • During the trial we sold 219 YORCUPs at Derwent Cafe 
  • During the trial we sold 276 YORCUPs at Hub Cafe
  • During the trial we sold 173 YORCUPs at Vedge 

Discounts

During the cup trial we gave out a total of £1,754.20 worth of discounts 

Feedback

We received a wide range of feedback from both staff and students regarding the cup trial. See some examples below:

  • In principle I completely agree with the removal of single use cups, but what thought has been given to the large number of events and external visitors that we can receive on campus (e.g. 10,000 plus on Open Days four times a year) who won't want to purchase a Yorcup or remember to bring their own travel mug? Open Day visitors especially want to grab a coffee whilst they're traversing campus, so what will we offer them?
  • Fantastic scheme. At the moment, keeping disposable cups at The Kitchen, Alcuin, allows visitors on post-offer and open days to take drinks away which is good. Keep it up!
  • Its a great scheme, but can some provision be made please for visitors to the university who don't have a cup with them and wish to take a drink offsite.
  • I think that it is a fantastic initiative, which should be rolled out even further!
  • I think it is an excellent idea - however, I rarely buy hot drinks from any of the outlets, preferring to make tea/coffee in the office, so I am biased and don't have a good idea of how much of a nuisance it might be. I still think it is an excellent idea, and that the YorCup scheme should address any perceived inconvenience.
  • I think this is a very good idea. Reducing single use plastic cup waste is a very easy quick win for sustainability, and doesn't come with a large burden for the consumer - buying a YorCup only costs a couple of pounds once you factor in the first free drink, and the sleeves are very easy to carry in your bag so there's really no reason for people to forget them.
    Having said this, I think some thought needs to be made of visitors who come to campus on an irregular basis who won't have a YorCup. Perhaps this demand needs to be monitored, and a range of disposable cups offered for this market (eg vegware)? Maybe with an extra cost attached that is then fed into a tree planting scheme?

What have we done since?

After taking into consideration all of the feedback, we wanted to ensure we continued to make sustainable changes to our services on campus, however, we did realise that the removal of single-use cups in all outlets would be problematic for visitors. We also took into consideration how this would effect large events, such as Open Day and Graduation. 

We were also greatly effected by the outbreak of COVID-19, which meant we were unable to accept reusable cups in order to minimise the spread of the virus. 

As a result, we decided to push forward and introduce 25 single-use plastic cup bins on campus. Whilst we want to encourage all customers to bring their own cups or join the YORCUP scheme, we understand this might not always be possible. We hope that by adding the bins to our campus, we are able to combat the use of single-use cups in a positive and easy way.

Find out more about the single-use cup bins.

* Vedge single-use cup purchases include figures from Cookies (based in Biology) as this is how the stock and till systems work.