The latest figures released by the University of York’s Catering and Hospitality team show that the YORCUP scheme has stopped 1 million single-use plastic cups from going to landfill since 2019.
In 2019, the university started the YORCUP scheme, an initiative which was started in response to findings that over 500,000 single-use plastic cups were used on campus in 2018. Now three years later, 6,500 people have joined the scheme, and the number of single-use cups being purchased has plummeted down to just below 68,000 in 2021.
What the scheme also introduced a Latte Levy – a 20p charge for a single-use plastic cup – which the university pledged to reinvest the money raised in sustainable initiatives on campus and within the local community, donating to local food banks, and gifting money to a local ‘pay as you go’ café. This levy over the last three years has now raised £54,703 for these sustainability initiatives.
If you are unaware of how the scheme works, you can buy a YORCUP for £5 at any on campus outlet and get your first drink free. Once you are finished, you can then return the YORCUP to any university outlet, or place them in the YORCUP bins around campus, where they’ll be washed and stored. Keep your sleeve and when you buy your next drink, show your sleeve and your drink will be served in a clean YORCUP, and you will avoid the 20p charge.
Jane Anness, head of Hospitality, Catering and Retail at York said “we are very proud that our scheme has raised the profile of our sustainability initiative in both the city of York and the wider field.”