Affordable compostable cups: There’s been something of a hue and cry about single-use coffee cups recently. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall started the charge by driving his emotive, cup be-decked bus through central London and Richard Attenborough’s Blue Planet delivered the coup-de-grace.
Coffee cups, be they plastic or ‘paper’, are not the only products found ‘guilty’; but alongside drinking straws, wet wipes and cotton buds, they have been singled out for vilification because, it’s said, these products can be replaced easily by alternatives that don’t pose the same threat to the environment.
The net result of the incessant media scrutiny is that the customers of vending and OCS companies, in particular national and local government facilities, educational institutions and blue-chip consumer facing companies, have concluded that they can’t be seen to be adding their waste to the ecological time bomb that’s currently ticking…
‘There is a clamour for affordable compostable cups just now, the likes of which we haven’t previously experienced’, said Automatic Retailing Northern Sales Manager Steve Reynolds. ‘So, in response to this public demand, we’ve sourced one, and we’ve sourced it at the right money.’
‘At the right money’: that’s a phrase that resonates, although compostable cups have been around for quite a while, affordable compostable cups have eluded manufacturers. The snag has always been price. It’s easy to point the finger at cup manufacturers and accuse them of failing in their environmental responsibilities – but if customers won’t pay for the greener solution, what more can the makers do?
‘Where beverages are on offer for 30p or so, or where they’re on free vend, cost has always been the most important criterion when considering ingredients, peripherals and indeed machines’, Steve said. ‘It’s the mathematics that strangled the compostable cup at birth, not any desire in the marketplace to ignore their inherent ecological advantages.
‘But the affordable compostable cups we’re offering now is top-quality and it’s going out at a really competitive price. At the moment, we’re just fine-tuning the design, but the cups will be available from February, in 8oz, 9oz and 12oz versions, as part of our Rosa range’, Steve said. ‘But having said that, we have a compostable cup available for sale right now, for customers’ urgent requirements.’
PV’s Automatic Retailing Northern Archive is HERE