Brooklyn Roasting Company is helping to pilot test a new reusable to-go cup program that aims to reduce paper and plastic waste throughout New York.
The blue “Good to Go” cups launched yesterday and are the result of a Sustainable Cup Challenge led by fellows at the Do School in Dumbo, an innovation and education lab that provides support platforms for the projects of select “social entrepreneurs.”
The cup project responds to one of the retail coffee industry’s worst blemishes: the fact that there are many billions of plastic-lined paper cups and plastic lids sent to landfills each year in the United States.
The pilot with Brooklyn Roasting involves a reusable blue plastic cup. For now, users buy the $5 cup with a free coffee, which they later return to the cafe or other drop-off locations, while keeping the lid in order to verify their participation. Cups are thoroughly washed and returned to circulation, with patrons currently getting a discount on Good to Go cup drinks.
At this point, the program doesn’t deviate much from any number of reusable cup programs run by individual coffee retailers, but the bigger vision is to expand the program to a wider range of retailers and drop-off locations, to make the process as smooth as possible for consumers.
With the support of sponsors like Newman’s Own Foundation and Dekeyser and Friends Foundation, the group has been working with the New York City Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, and will be developing infrastructure for the concept over the next 10 months. The popular analogy is that these could be the Citi Bikes of coffee cups.
The cups are currently available at Brooklyn Roasting’s Jay street location.