KootenayCup Launch!

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KootenayCup Press Release

Program launched Oct. 21, 2019 for an 8 week pilot.

With an average daily usage of 80 paper cups per day, Kootenay Co-op hot beverage drinkers use almost 30,000 disposable cups per year! And that’s just one cafe in a city of many cafes!

Aiming to make Nelson disposable cup-free

Nelson, BC – KootenayCup, a reusable cup-leasing initiative provides an environmentally-friendly, community-strengthening alternative to disposable cup usage and its associated waste. Similar reusable cup initiatives have been shown to be effective around the world, and now KootenayCup will provide Nelson with the opportunity to be one of the first Canadian communities to trial an alternative to using disposable cups at participating coffee shops.

KootenayCup was borne from a desire to be able to enjoy coffee without feeling guilty about drinking from single-use coffee cups. With the support of the EcoSociety and funding from Patagonia and the Columbia Basin Trust, the KootenayCup Pilot Project will run from October 21st for an 8 week period. The Kootenay Co-op, Oso Negro and No.6 are all involved in helping to get this initiative off the ground. Customers now have the option to lease a reusable cup for $3 when purchasing their coffee. They can recoup this deposit at the participating coffee shops when they return their reusable KootenayCup.

Surveying of coffee businesses indicated that, on average, nearly 1,000 disposable coffee cups are used per day within Nelson. Results also showed a willingness for Nelson residents to utilize environmentally-friendly alternatives to disposable cups. This pilot project aims to assess the willingness of Nelson residents to adapt to a reusable cup leasing system and to determine the waste reduction potential of the initiative in the long-term.

The launch of KootenayCup coincides with the single-use plastic reduction month promoted by the City of Nelson which aims to challenge individuals to decrease their usage of single use plastics.

The KootenayCup design was by Axel Morrison a Digital Art and New Media Student at Selkirk College, who kindly donated his expertise to the project.