We know, we know, we’ve nagged you about using recyclable takeaway cups and selling reusable coffee cups in your coffee shop before. But two recent news stories caught our eye. The latest pretty literally. It seems that at last there’s a recycling scheme for contact lenses. Those who don’t use them are unlikely to have given the virtually invisible little circles of plastic a second thought. But as many as 3.7 million people in Britain wear plastic contact lenses – the soft, disposable kind. It turns out that 20% of that number just flush them down the sink when they’re done with them. Ridiculously, only 77% of people polled said they’d actually recycle them. Nonetheless, the scheme, organised by TerraCycle and Johnson & Johnson Vision, is creating drop-off points and the collected lenses will become useful items such as furniture. It just reminded us that, with the right initiative, most UK consumers will do the right thing and recycle their waste. They just need direction and incentive.
And that’s where the second story comes in. It’s a reusable coffee cup. So what? This one rewards each customer for using it. The cup is called Punti. It’s made from bamboo, a rapid-growing and sustainable material, and one which is fully biodegradable too. That’s only half the story.
So there’s the feel-good factor for you and your customers. Then comes the real reward. Customers using a Punti coffee cup – or indeed any other reusable coffee cup - can download an app to their smartphone. You, the coffee shop owner, mobile coffee van, pub or restaurant, sign up to Punti and are assigned a unique QR code. Each coffee drinker who downloads the app gets their own QR code. The app tracks both the CO2 savings for your business, and for the individual customer, and rewards the customer with points, which can be exchanged within the Punti store.
Customers can find their nearest Punti-participating store from within the app. So, sign your business up, and as the scheme grows in popularity, your profile among the more eco-conscious coffee consumers in your area will also grow.