CupCycle EST is a NGO who replaces disposable cups with reusable, washable cups at public events and in coffee shops and takeaways, etc.
CupCycle EST is a non-profit organisation who replaces disposable cups with reusable, washable cups at public events and in coffee shops and takeaways, etc. The smart NFC chip on the bottom of the cup enables automated return and mobiile deposit repayment on the spot. The customer receives their drink in a reusable cup and, at the same time, pays a deposit for the cup. Used cups can be returned to designated locations at the event, and a new cup may be obtained or the deposiit repaid. CupCycle offers a full service for public events with three diferent types of cups with logistics, washing up, and if necessary, bringing their own service staff for big events.

Resources needed

Initial investmets were made by the owner, Estonian PackCycling Ltd and also the National Foundation of Civil Society gave two grants. CupCycle earns money in two main ways: 1) a service fee from event organiser or caterers 0,10 euros per used cup; 2) the deposit money from non-returned cups.

Evidence of success

In the summer 2016 the biggest festival CupCycle attended had 24 000 visitors and 20 caterers involved in the reusable cup system. During the pilot project in the summer of 2016, they prevented at least 55 000 disposable cups from being thrown away.

Potential for learning or transfer

Replacing disposable cups with reusable ones significantly decreases the amount of resources needed for collecting and handling waste in public events. The service offered by CupCycle EST NGO helps to raise public awareness about environmental concerns by giving a very specific, practical solution for reuse and saving resources. Thanks to this kind on service public authority can promote to use reusable cups instead of single-use plastic cups in public events and is motivated to work out legislation that bans using single-use plastic cups in public events. Tallinn has developed a regulation that prohibits using single-usage plastic cups and dishes in public event. In February it will be decided weather this regualtion will be adopted.
It helps to minimize waste generation in public events where a lot of wastes are generated.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Eesti, Estonia (Eesti)
Start Date
January 2015
End Date


Please login to contact the author.