Reusable Cup Scheme
How it Works
The important bit:
As of March 1st, we have stopped using single-use, disposable, hot-drinks cups in our shops. Instead, we offer takeaway hot coffee in a reusable rent-a-cup, your own cup or a ceramic cup. See here for our reusable cup leaflet for a quick summary.
If you already use a reusable cup and want to continue with your own cup:
This is totally fine of course. Place your order and give us your (preferably clean and dry) cup and we’ll make your coffee into it as we usually do.
If you don’t have a reusable cup and want a takeaway coffee:
You will need to pay a £5 deposit for use of one of our reusable cups. Place your order as usual, say you need a takeaway cup, and we will make your drink into a Monmouth reusable cup. You can return your cup (with lid, band and stopper) at any time for a refund of your deposit.
If you have one of our reusable cups already:
Return your Monmouth reusable cup to us when you place your next order and we will make your coffee into a sanitised one. The cup and lid you return to us will go through our sanitiser to be stacked back on our machine and used in the future. You can do this ad infinitum. You can hand the cup (with lid, band and stopper) you have back in to one of our shops for a refund of your deposit at any time.
A few things to remember about returning a cup for a return of your deposit:
• By cup we mean cup + lid + band + stopper.
• If you return the reusable cup you will receive your £5 back on proviso it is in usable condition.
• You will need the card you used to pay the deposit for a successful refund. This is a requirement of the card processing company.
• For UK based cards refunds are usually issued within 7 working days, but can take up to 14 working days to show on your account.
When does this happen?
We introduced the Monmouth reusable cups in February 2022 and stopped all paper cup use in our shops in March 2022.
Where are the cups from?
Ecoffee Cup supply our reusable cups. The cups are made from wood fibre, starch and resin. The lids, bands and stoppers are made from some silicone. See ecoffeecup.com for more details.
What do the cups look like?
The cups are natural white, with the Monmouth Coffee Company logo, our website address and the words “please return this cup to any of our shops for a refund of your deposit”. We will continue to sell the plain black Ecoffee Cup and the Klean Kanteen stainless steel coffee cup – these cups are not part of the loan cup project.
What happens to the cups at the end of their life?
You can return the cup (and lid etc) for a refund of the deposit, and we will send on to Ecoffee Cup to dispose in their end-of-life system. See ecoffeecup.com for more details of their system.
Why is Monmouth doing this?
Because it’s the right thing for us to do. Single use is really a bit of an anachronism and not needed where there is a viable alternative. We believe the reusable cup is a viable alternative to a paper cup. You may like to take a look at the February 2022 Newsletter for more of our thoughts about it.
Will this make a difference to reducing single-use waste?
We estimate that we will prevent half a million single use cups, and their lids, from use or going to landfill every year. This may be small in relation to the wider problem, but it is a big deal for us and we are proud of the decision.
Can I use the cup I already have?
You can absolutely continue to use the cup you already have. When we make your coffee we will make it with the ratios of coffee to milk as we usually do.
Will you still make coffee in ceramic?
Yes, we will still be using ceramic cups for coffees to stay. By stay we mean at our shops or in our vicinity. If you wander off to look inside the shop down the road that is totally fine but please bring the cup back to us when you’re done.
Do I get a discount for using a reusable or the rent-a-cup?
No, the drinks will continue to cost the same whether to stay or to go. This helps cover all the associated costs in making coffee.
Can I get a discount for multiple cups?
No, each loan cup with lid is £5, there are no exceptions to this.
Do I get a discount if I don’t take a lid?
No. Take the lid etc, you’ll need it for a full return of your deposit. It is also useful to seal the cup if there are any little dribbles or bits in your bag. You can also use it to seal the cup after you wash and dry it to keep it clean before you bring it back.
I found one of your reusable cups! Can I return it for a fiver even though I didn’t pay the deposit?
Essentially any Monmouth Coffee reusable cup can be returned to us, and we will pay the bearer the deposit. For a full deposit refund the cup needs to come with its lid, band and stopper and be in reusable condition. We reserve the right to reduce the deposit refund as we see fit, and there may be difficulties processing the refund if the card hasn’t been used at Monmouth. The reality is though, we want these cups to be used so if you find one, please bring it back to us!
The cup had an accident or was the surface for my tag or child’s art – will you still take it back?
Depending on how the cup is returned to us we may reduce the loan deposit back to you. For the project to work we do need everyone to take care of the cup and lid to a reasonable extent. It needs to be able to be cleaned, sanitised and given to another customer.
Someone took my cup, can I still get my deposit back?
No, unfortunately, you need to return a reusable cup, lid, stopper and band to get your deposit back. Look after it like you own it.
How long do I have to return the cup?
You don’t ever have to return the cup if you don’t want to, so you have as long as you like. We know that things can change and get weird pretty quickly (like in a pandemic) so if we need to do a cup amnesty at some time in the future we will.
Can I get the deposit paid back onto any card? Can I get the deposit paid back onto my gift card?
The deposit needs to be refunded onto the same card that you used to pay the deposit. We can issue a refund onto a gift card if needed.
Can you keep hold of my loan cup in-between uses?
No, the idea is that you use the loan cup like it was your own. So if you’re out and about and get a takeaway drink from somewhere else you can use the loan cup.
I want to keep my Monmouth reusable cup / and only use my one for my coffee.
We suggest you buy your own cup, that way you will know which one is yours.
Can I gift the cup to someone else?
You could, but when they return it for the deposit back, they are unlikely to have the original card, and that could be problematic. We think a better idea might be a gift card with a nice message from you!
I’d like to buy a new branded cup and give it as a gift to someone, can I have one in a box?
No, to cut down on unnecessary packaging we had these delivered to us sans boxes. We also wash them all before they are used, so there isn’t a perfectly new cup available. You can still go ahead and gift a cup, but it won’t be like buying a brand new one. A gift card with a nice message might be a better idea.
How are you washing them?
Through our dishwasher / sanitiser in the same way we wash all the crockery.
What about hygiene and covid?
All the returned cups will go through our sanitiser in the same way our ceramic cups do. If you are particularly concerned, we recommend you buy your own cup and use that.
Will it take longer to order my coffee?
80% of the coffees we make are to take away so while we get used to a new way of working it may take a bit longer to get your coffee. We will need your patience at this time, but we will get there!
Can I have my iced latte in a Monmouth reusable cup?
You could do, it will be more of an iced flat white because of the size. We will still use the plastic cold drinks cups for the iced drinks. These are widely recyclable. You just need to make sure it is empty before putting it in plastic recycling.
Can you make my coffee into a paper cup?
If you bring your own, we will make it. It is just that we won’t be supplying them anymore.
What will you do with the left-over paper cups?
If we have any we will be donating the excess paper cups to any organisation where single use is a necessity. If you help organise a community event or similar and need cups, please get in touch with us.
For the reusable cups to be sustainable long term we need to be able to cover the costs of the project over a lengthy period. The price reflects how much it costs for us to do this. We reserve the right to change the price in the future if we need to. We have priced the little and big cups the same price as there is very little difference between the two, and that means you can swap between different sized drinks, no drama.
Why are the cups the same price?
Because they cost almost exactly the same, and this way you can switch between them with no faff.
What about all the other packaging?
Our coffee bags are next on our list. In fact, they were actually first. We used a compostable liner in our paper bags for a couple of years, but they caused us problems and we had to abandon that idea. We are looking for a long-term solution and we have a couple of ideas in the pipeline that we hope will work out. In the interim, if you buy coffee in our shops, you can bring in a suitable reusable container. Suitable is an important word, the container needs to be clean and dry before we put coffee in it, and it should be food safe as well. This will reduce the chance of taints and problematic smells causing issues with the coffee.
What about milk?
Well, this is really about packaging and single use rather than farming and dairy. But while we’re here, we use milk from Ivy House Farm in Somerset who run their organic, jersey herd in an agroecological way. Agroecological is the kind of picture-book farming style, which before the Green Revolution (the change in farming for enhanced productivity, mono-cropping and the rest of it after the second world war) was the way dairy was managed in Somerset. This is about as sustainable as dairy can get. But we also offer an alternative which is Oatly, an oat-based milk substitute made in a factory in Sweden. We believe personal choice is the key here and we also believe agroecological farming has a place in all future food systems. You may wish to read the plan by https://www.nationalfoodstrategy.org/ for some interesting information about farming.