One of the country’s first fully biodegradable coffee cup will be helping hard-up New Zealanders as well as the environment.
The cup is the brainchild of Christchurch company Ashbec Trading, which supplies cups to cafés in the South Island. It has partnered with The Salvation Army, donating some of the cup's profits—dubbed ‘the Appeal Cup’—to help Kiwis in need.
With thousands of coffee cups ending up in landfills every day Ashbec began looking for a way to help the environment. The plastic polyethlene lining used in takeaway cups to stop leaks has been the main problem, along with plastic lids. These have prevented other takeaway cups being recycled in New Zealand.
However, the Ashbec cup has a lining made from corn starch and a fully compostable lid.
Having got the environmental side sorted, Ashbec business owner Chris Thomson says the next aim was to help people. ‘We wanted to give something back to the community. We thought we’ve got this product, and rather than use it to advertise our own business, we’ll use it to promote The Salvation Army.’
Twenty cafés have already signed up to take cups in the first week they have been available and Ashbec is aiming to raise a significant sum for The Salvation Army.
Each cup is printed with The Salvation Army Red Shield logo and a notice that says ‘CAUTION: This cup contains serious good.’
Salvation Army Public Relations Director Shane Chisholm says the Army is excited to be part of the innovative initiative. ‘It’s great to see people introducing new solutions to help transform New Zealand society and environment. We’re delighted to be a part of this cup making a positive difference.’
The Salvation Army is Ashbec’s pick of charities, Chris says, because ‘we’ve all had something to do with them here, with what we’ve gone through in Christchurch and Kaikoura [with the earthquakes], so they were top of our list’.
The company is now urging environmentally and socially aware New Zealanders to ask for the Appeal Cup at their nearest café. ‘We’re really excited about it. We’re giving it our all and want to make an impact for The Salvation Army,’ says Chris, ‘We’re doing good—in a good cup.’
Why not do good for the environment and for The Salvation Army by asking your local café to provide the Appeal Cup? Perhaps you have an event coming up or you run a business selling hot drinks.
Cups and lids are sold together by the box - there are 1000 cups with lids per box, and each box costs $200.
To order your fully biodegradable cups and lids, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ashbectrading