Reusable Takeout Container Series: CupClub

Cup Club is trackable packaging as a service. It's simple tech delivers an easy way for customers to enjoy their coffee and not be held back by waste, or keeping a cup at all times.

Their Unique Selling Points Are:

CUSTOMERS CAN REDUCE: Cup Club enables customers to reduce their coffee cup waste by up to 100%. Cups can be used up to 1000 times. Bring your own cup programs yield only 2% participation rate (Cup Club #'s, can't find a study to confirm this).

AESTHETICS: Aesthetically CupClub just looks fine, it is the app and branding that is particularly attractive and easy to follow.

BRANDS CAN REDUCE: Cup Club enables brands to reduce packaging waste by up to 40% by delivering trackable packaging-as-a-service.

COLLABORATION: Relationships/partnerships already in place with the Greater London Authority, London Waste & Recycling Board, KPMG, HSBC, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Coca Cola, Do the Green Thing, CH&Co, Compass Group, Mitie and Vacherin. 

The Service Works Like This:

  1. Customer joins Cup Club 
  2. Customer buys a coffee in a reusable cup. "Would you like a throw away cup or Cup Club it?". That cup is paired with the users account through their smart phone. 
  3. Because the cups are tagged and registered to each users account (using RFID), Cup Club can text you a reminder if you've forgotten to return a cup and charge you if you keep it.
  4. Most customers return the cup to one of the several collection points. 
  5. Cup Club then collects, washes and maintains the cups.
  6. Cup Club then redistributes the clean cups to participating retailers.
  7. and so on...


Cup Club collaborated with London's Royal College of Art and some local designers through a design competition. They wanted a cup and lid design that was stylish, and yet fulfilled the functions required.

The program began with a membership card prior to the app, like the one below.

Drop points are easy to find and continue with the simplistic branding found throughout their program. It is unclear if CubClub does actually use these bags and bicycles like in their marketing.

More on CupClub:

Reusable Cups Help London Coffee Shops Create Less Waste
New Plastics Economy - Circular Design Challenge Winner