Berliners pioneer take-away cup deposit system

The uber-hip Berlin neighbourhoods Kreuzberg and Neukölln may soon be able to lay claim to the birth of a new trend in coffee consumption – the cup deposit system. A pair of entrepreneurs has introduced a novel system to promote the use of reusable cups in an effort to reduce waste in a city that consumes nearly 500,000 take-away cups of coffee per day. The new system, developed by Berliners Clemens Pech and Ulrike Gottsau, allows customers to exchange or collect their reusable cups from a network of participating cafés in the area, meaning they no longer have to carry their own cup everywhere if they wish to avoid using disposable products. Pech and Gottsau’s cup is made from bamboo, which is dishwasher-safe and fast-drying. So far there are 15 cafés participating in the scheme, but the pair have plans to expand into other areas of Berlin in 2017.

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