Could you briefly explain the concept behind Cupko and how have you managed to implement the circular economy model?
The idea is to replace single-use cups and beer cans by reusable & customizable cups. We’re provide them at events, venues and even breweries or restaurants.
On an event, we usually add a $2 deposit on the cup as people are reminded to bring them back (as it also saves a lot of money for cleaning the site after the show)
We’re following a circular business model integrated into a double loop (washing and recycling):
-We produce our own products here in Canada
-We design them to be sure they’ll be reusable and recyclable
-We make them reusable by washing them in our own facilities. Then we improve their lifecycle
-If needed only, we recycle them in our own warehouse to produce new recycled products as frisbee or keyholder…
In your experience so far, what would you say is the biggest step in terms of innovation in the reusable cup sector?
Simply the fact that it is still a brand new concept.
For example, the actual pandemic creates a lot of confusion about reusable products without justified reason.
Reusable cups are just a new way to use and think. The real innovation is not about the product itself, it’s about the way to use it.
As with the plastic debate, it’s not really the material who’s problematic, it’s the way we use it!
There’s a lot of work to do to change the behaviours!
Have you noticed a shift in peoples buying habits towards eco-friendly materials lately ?
Before the pandemic, people started to understand that we need to take care of our environment more. They have been more open to reusable products and understood why it’s so important.
Now, with the pandemic the return of the single-use lobby is stronger than ever and a lot of people are confused.
There’s a big confusion between the disposable products and the sterile products use to fight against the COVID19.
The fact is that reusable products are way safer then disposable, as they can be washed before, during and after. You got complete control on it.
The positive side of this pandemic is that people realized the importance of supporting local businesses!
Do you have any statistics on how many people this has reached approximately?
Here’s a snippet on the scale of events we’ve been to so far:
What are some of the hurdles you’ve faced in the process of shifting the general mindset of people towards more sustainable options
- Some do not really care and don’t like changes
- Some loves the idea but don’t want make the first move as reusable cups change a little bit their usual logistic
- Some think it will cost more but it’s completely false (but you need to try it to learn it) as on a long term vision you’ll save a lot of money!
- When a huge brand like Starbucks said during the pandemic they will not accept reusable cups in their coffee shop, it created a big confusion in customers mind. Finally they recognized a couple weeks ago that reusable wasn’t a problem.
Are there any recent innovations that you’ve been able to implement during this pandemic?
Not really, the events industry has been hurt a lot by the pandemic. Right now, we need to wait and monitor the situation. The only good thing is that people are now more aware about local and sustainable products. We hope that will make the difference next summer!
Let us know your websites and social media handles so our audience can get to know more about your concept.
Website : Cupko.ca
IG: @cupkocanada | #cupko