Seaford is to be the first town on the south coast to offer commuters a deposit return scheme on take away coffee cups. The “Comeback Cup” will be trialled at The Steamworks, bar and bake house in Seaford, from the beginning of May, in a bid to help local commuters ditch single use coffee cups on their commute. Seaford born Artist and ocean activist, Caroline Bond, presented the idea of The “Comeback Cup” to the local Plastic Free Seaford team. Surfers Against Sewage rep Claire Sumners is leading the nationwide plastic free communities campaign for seaford along with local campaigner Fran Chorlton, and were delighted to help drum up interest to trial the idea. “We are delighted that seaford will be the first town to trial this deposit return idea and we are really hoping the community give it a go and see if it could be something rolled out in other towns.”

The Steamworks were extremely enthusiastic to host the “Comeback Cup” in the cafe hours of their business from the station concourse. It was this proximity to seafords commuting public that made them the perfect candidate to trial the cup scheme. Caroline approached the bar and bake house with the proposal and was delighted when the Steamworks gave the scheme the thumbs up.
“The environment needs our help, and ditching single use plastic is a great step in the right direction. Commuters regularly grab a cup of coffee on the go, many not owning or forgetting their reusable cup, we wanted to bridge that gap and provide a solution. By having a “Comeback Cup” people are able to pay a small deposit to use our reusable cup during their commute, and collect their deposit when they return it at the end of the day. If people decide to keep their cup, that’s ok too! We are just trying to aid the public in generating less single use waste, which in turn will benefit our planet.”

30 cups were generously donated to the campaign after, Matt Vincent, owner of Brighton based planet friendly brand, ecolunchware, saw Caroline’s TEDx Talk at the Brighton dome at the end of last year. The cups are made from rice husks and are a sustainable alternative to plastic cups. Matt, has lived in Brighton for 20 years and started ecolunchware in response to his passion for the environment and the ocean near his family home, and he was onboard as soon as he heard the idea.
“We are so grateful for the generosity shown by ecolunchware, who without their donation and backing, this trial could not of gone ahead. If more businesses acted for planet, not for profit and helped local campaigns like ours, just think of the positive knock on effect it would have.”

The “Comeback Cups” are available from The Steamworks for a deposit of just £3.00 and deciding to keep it and swap the bad habit of consuming single use cups is genuinely encouraged. “If we can get the Seaford commuters to change their habits it’s a win for the environment. We want to help our town to make better choices for the planet by making a greener lifestyle affordable to everyone. It’s not about telling people off for doing something wrong, it’s about giving everyone the option to change and adapt in a way that benefits us all.”

Caroline’s TEDx talk really pushed the local beach cleaner to her limits, “ I’ve never done any form of public speaking before in my life because of anxiety problems but to speak about plastic alternatives to over 1600 people was an opportunity I couldn’t miss and an opportunity that opened the door for the Comeback Cup to become a reality.”

The Cup is being launched to tie in with the Steamworks launch of their new local coffee roasters, Edgcumbes of Arundel, as well as the Plastic Free Seaford’s reusable cup discount campaign. Seaford’s independent cafés that offer takeaway coffees are being asked to offer a discount of their choice if customers bring their own takeaway cup. “It’s truly remarkable how well the coffee shops received the idea and really shows a level of care for our local environment and a genuine commitment for positive change. I’m totally thrilled to be working with Plastic Free Seaford and helping build a plastic free community.” To find out where to grab your discounted takeaway coffee, Just look out for the discount coffee cup sign in the café windows, ask inside or check out our list of participating businesses. You can watch Caroline’s TEDx talk here

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