Waitrose and John Lewis list first reusable cup made from used paper cups

A UK company, which has created the first reusable cup made from used paper cups, has secured a national retail listing with the John Lewis Partnership. The rCup goes into Waitrose and John Lewis stores nationally this week (w/c 28 May), with a RRP of £12.00.

In the UK, we each throw away 350 paper coffee cups a year on average. The rCup uses discarded cups, and their plastic lids, to create each reusable cup. It is designed to last over 10 years and at the end of its life it is 100% recyclable in the UK’s kerbside recycling system.

Developed by a team of recycling and closed-loop product design experts, headed up by ashortwalk in the UK, the new rCup sees a used cup as a valuable resource, not litter. Dan Dicker, managing director of ashortwalk, explains:

“Most paper cups aren’t recycled because they have a plastic lining that makes them difficult to recycle within traditional paper mills. We use the whole cup, including the lid, to create a robust polymer, which is used to make the strong, reusable rCup. By making products from used cups we create a demand for the once worthless paper cup, which in turn creates a reason for recycling firms to process the cups.

“Consumers and retailers are increasingly aware of the waste implication of single use products, such as paper coffee cups, and are looking for ways to avoid them. The rCup fulfils the need for a reusable product, but it is also made from recycled material so helps to reduce waste – and of course it is fully recyclable at the end of its very long life, which no other reusable cup currently is.”

The rCup is not only the most sustainable travel cup on the market, but it has also been designed with on-the-go coffee lovers in mind – it’s 100% leak proof, can be opened with one hand, and has 360 degree drinking for ease-of-use when moving, improved aroma and better taste experience.

Tracey May, Waitrose buyer, says: ” We’re delighted to be offering our shoppers the opportunity to buy these innovative and environmentally friendly coffee cups. Not only do they have a great design, but are reducing waste too.

“We have made significant progress in reducing our impact on the environment and while we know we still have work to do, introducing practical innovations like the rCup helps that continue. Our decision to remove disposable takeaway cups from our shops by autumn this year has been supported by the vast majority of our customers so we are confident the new cup will be extremely popular.”

Dicker, who previously worked as a designer and innovator for Dyson, has created the cup with practicality and drinking experience front of mind.

“The whole point of a reusable is to eliminate single use paper cups and plastic bottles. It’s imperative the cup is designed and built to be used every day and for every occasion. It needs to be robust and above all work – you need to believe in it otherwise it will just stay at home, which misses the whole point.

“We talked to prospective customers to understand the common complaints about travel cups and designed a cup that solved them. For example, the rCup won’t leak, ever. It keeps your drink hot or cold and you can pick it up without scalding your hand. You can easily open it with one hand and take a sip while you’re on the move. Importantly it also gives the best taste experience as the 360-degree drinking opening allows for more aroma, which in turn improves the flavour as 80% of taste is through your nose.”

The rCup comes in a range of colourways and can also be branded if required. The company is also in discussion with a number of major coffee and food chains about the potential to collect and recycle their used paper cups to create rCups that can then be retailed back to their customers.

rCup Product Benefits:

  • 100% leak proof

It is completely leak proof. No more splashing yourself with hot coffee or tea as you run for the train or bus. No more bottom of the bag disasters. No more near misses with your laptop or phone. You can carry rCup anywhere without spilling a drop and pop it into your bag with confidence.

  • One-hand opening for life on the go

The innovative design makes it quick and easy to open, and close, the reusable cup with one hand. Just one press to open and one press to close. Perfect when you’re on the phone.

  • Best for coffee drinkers

Being able to wake up and smell the coffee is an essential part of the enjoyable drinking experience. In fact our sense of smell is responsible for up to 90% of that freshly ground coffee taste. With rCup you get to release the coffee aroma without the spills through the ingenious 360-degree drinking that allows you to drink like you would from any normal cup or mug.

  • Fully Insulated

Unlike many reusable coffee cups or travel cups, rCup is fully insulated. It’s a travel cup that will keep your hot drink hot and your cold drink cold for longer. And you’ll never burn your hand picking the rCup up. It will keep a latte warm for 1 hour 20 minutes and a cup of tea warm for 1 hour 40 minutes.

  • Better for the World

Every purchase of an rCUP is funding a sustainable solution to global waste. It is made from used paper coffee cups – by switching to an rCup you save paper cups from going to landfill and contribute directly to the recycling of used coffee cups.  It’s designed to last for at least 10 years and is 100% recyclable in the UK’s kerbside recycling system.