Pfand-tastic Idea to Go

November, 2018

A deposit system for eco-friendly, reusable coffee cups has been rolled out across more than 1000 German cafés.  © reCup GmbH

Anyone who’s lived in Germany is familiar with the deposit (Pfand) system that keeps cans and bottle out of the streets and landfills. Recup, a Munich-based startup launched last year, has transferred the concept to the realm of coffee-to-go cups, which have a huge environmental downside.

Recup has formed a network of more than 1,000 cafés and bakeries across Germany offering its unique reusable coffee-to-go cups made of recyclable plastic in three sizes. The concept: cafés and bakeries – locatable via an app – pay about €1 a day to participate in the program, offering reusable cups to customers for a €1 deposit.

The customer benefits by getting a small discount. Cafés and bakeries benefit by saving on paper cup expenses and from potential sales from customers returning cups. And we all benefit from the reduced environmental impact of our usual morning pick-me-up!