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Single use takeway cups are no longer permitted in Guildhall. As part of the ‘Shrewsbury Cup’ scheme, University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) now only serves drinks in reusable cups saving many thousands of takeaways cups. UCS and Harper Adams, which are both located in Shropshire, are the only two universities in the country to completely abandon single-use takeaway cups.

The University café, stop.@UCS introduced the Shrewsbury Cup scheme in September and in January they took the decision to ban all single use takeaway cups, only serving drinks in the Shrewsbury Cup or customers’ own keep cups.

At present, approximately 250,000 single-use paper cups are used in Shrewsbury each year. As there is no facility to recycle these cups, they all go into the incinerator. The Shrewsbury Cup launched last year is a reusable cup for hot and cold drinks available in cafes across Shrewsbury. Customers simply pay £1 deposit for a Shrewsbury Cup, enjoy their drink and then return the cup to any participating café to get their £1 back. The cups are washed ready to be used again. Since its introduction, the scheme now has 23 cafes and sites signed up throughout the town, with many more joining every month.

“Moving to the reusable cups was a no-brainer really.  It allows the University Centre to act on our values of preserving and protecting the environment,” said Paul Kirkbright, Deputy Provost of UCS.  “Once they realised that they can get their £1 deposit back at any time, the students were completely on board. The roll-out was effortless.”

Owner of the University café, Nicola Dalton said: “We are thrilled to be involved with the marvellous Shrewsbury Cup scheme and were proud to be the first café in town to switch to reusable cups only. Since we introduced the policy, students have warmly embraced the changes and the campus is now really all about reusing for the benefit of the environment.”

Alison Thomas, co-founder of the Shrewsbury Cup scheme added: “It’s really gratifying to see Shrewsbury Cup take off so well at the town’s university. Places like the university are an ideal environment for the scheme to work.  In the future we hope to see many more Shrewsbury venues fully embrace the ‘choose to reuse’ concept.”

The first open day of the year at UCS is on Saturday 8th February, and the university will welcome prospective students and their guests with a gift of a Shrewsbury Cup to help spread the word of this ground-breaking project.


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