Returnable Cups scheme launched

Returnable coffee cups are back on campus, thanks to a collaboration between the Sustainability Office and a group of Environmental Studies students.

Previously known as Boomerang Cups, the programme is now AURAKI Returnable Cup Scheme, with the mantra: choose, use, return. The change was informed by a survey and research by students in an Environment Studies course which focuses on how to drive changes in individual behaviour. The students looked at barriers to the success of the scheme and identified visual prompts as a potential solution to changing behaviour and getting a higher cup return rate.

The office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Māori came up with the name auraki, which means ‘to return’ and also ‘to urge’. The stickers are bilingual and include the phrase ‘whakahokia mai’ or please return me.

“Auraki is the answer to reducing your coffee cup waste and it’s free to use,” says Sustainability Director Andrew Wilks. “Simply choose an Auraki returnable cup, purchase a drink, take your drink to go, then return your empty cup to any outlet or Auraki collection bin.  Your cup will be collected, washed, and returned to service.”

The University is partnering with on-campus cafes Louis, The Hunter Lounge, Vic Books and Wishbone on the Kelburn campus, and at Vic Books on the Pipitea campus. The Sustainability office hopes to extend the scheme to include all outlets that sell hot drinks.