The ‘Return-It to Reuse-It’ and ‘Recycle-It’ cup programmes in Vancouver, Canada, are expanding after a successful pilot. 

The initiative, launched by Return-It in partnership with the City of Vancouver, aims to reduce waste by promoting the use of reusable cups and providing recycling options for single-use cups. 

Launched in 2022, the programme introduced a reusable Tim Hortons cup system and consumers could sign up, use, and then return the cups to designated drop-off bins.  

These returned cups are then washed and redistributed to retail locations for further use. 

The pilot also addressed the issue of single-use cup waste by offering convenient recycling options in commercial and on-street locations. 

The success in collecting reusable cups and diverting single-use cups from landfills has encouraged almost all participating partners.  

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This programme has a brand partnership with Tim Hortons, Starbucks Canada, and A&W Canada. 

The expansion of the programme will add a further eight collection bins, taking the total bins to 27 across Vancouver.  

These bins are strategically placed in areas with high foot traffic, near transit hubs, and other waste diversion stations. 

Consumers can return the reusable cups by scanning a QR code at the bins, which are then collected by local transporter SHIFT for cleaning. 

Single-use cups and lids are taken to local processors and recycled with paper materials and plastics. 

Return-It president and CEO Cindy Coutts said: “At Return-It, our social purpose is to foster a world where nothing is waste.

“The Return-It to Reuse-It and Recycle-It cup programme is the perfect example of our social purpose come to life. We’re proud to work with our brand partners on a programme that promotes reuse, recycling and a zero-waste future.”