Eunomia to run first conference deposit return scheme at RWM 2018
Environmental consultancy Eunomia Research and Consulting will be running the first ever conference deposit return scheme (DRS) for coffee cups at this year’s RWM show in Birmingham.
Taking place at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham over 12-13 September, RWM will this year see Eunomia team up with the NEC’s catering arm, Amadeus, to run a scheme in which food and drink retailers at the venue will offer a discount to attendees with a reusable cup.
Eunomia will be offering reusable cups to conference-goers under its Zero Waste Cup scheme in exchange for a £1 deposit, which can be refunded once the cup is returned. Attendees bringing their own reusable cups will also benefit from discounted drinks.
The Zero Waste Cups are supplied by Greentech start-up Bockatech, in partnership with Borealis – a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. The cups feature easy-to-recycle polypropylene from Borealis, as well as Bockatech’s new EcoCore™ technology, which reduces the material and energy needed to create insulated super-rigid reusable packaging.
Eunomia’s conference scheme comes as the momentum behind deposit return continues to gather pace, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcing last September that Scotland will be introducing a DRS for beverage containers and Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirming a similar scheme would be introduced in England by 2020.
The consultancy has been heavily involved in research into deposit return, carrying out a feasibility study for Scotland, as well as being appointed to explore the possibility of a DRS for the Czech Republic.
Dominic Hogg, Chairman of Eunomia, commented: “The goal of the scheme is to avoid, as far as possible, any single-use cups being used during the RWM conference this year. We’re providing a reusable cup for everyone to make this easy for attendees. We’d like to build on the work Amadeus are already doing to reduce waste at the NEC, by demonstrating how a closed loop coffee cup system can work at conferences, negating the need for single-use cups.”
Chris Bocking, CEO at Bockatech, added: “Reuse makes more environmental sense when it comes to takeaway cups. If you use a low-cost cup made with our EcoCore™ technology – in place of a standard paper or compostable cup – you cut the packaging CO2 greenhouse gas needed for your morning coffee by 94 per cent over the course of a year. DRS is also an exciting opportunity for us that'll mean up to 95 per cent of plastic is recycled when cups reach the end of their life – further reducing other environmental impacts, such as marine pollution, to virtually zero.
“We’re making it easy for consumers to get into eco-friendly reuse and return habits. Our technology is creating sustainable packaging that's multi-use, high performance and cost-neutral for everything – from cups for hot drinks at coffee shops, to tubs for food at the supermarket delicatessen.”
The Eunomia team will be running the Zero Waste Cup scheme at stand 4F30 in Hall 4 at RWM; Dr Chris Sherrington, Head of Environmental Policy and Economics, and Dominic Hogg will both be presenting on deposit schemes during the show.