Clever Cup: Costa and Barclaycard launch UK’s first reusable contactless payment coffee cup

Clever Cup: Costa and Barclaycard launch UK’s first reusable contactless payment coffee cup

10 Dec 2018 --- Costa Coffee and Barclaycard have collaborated to launch the UK’s first reusable coffee-cup with integrated contactless payment technology. Powered by Barclaycard’s bPay technology, Costa Coffee’s Clever Cup allows users to make purchases with the cup, top up their in-store credit balance and track payments online or via a dedicated app on both iPhone and Android devices. Launched last month in Costa Coffee stores across the UK, this reusable innovation is expected to decrease the volume of discarded coffee cups.

Sold in packaging made from recycled coffee cups, the Clever Cup features a silicon base and contactless chip, which is detachable for ease of washing. The technology within the cup can be used wherever customers see the contactless payment symbol and not just Costa Coffee stores.

The Clever Cups  are part of Costa Coffee’s wider re-launch of its “next generation” reusable range, encouraging customers to use reusable cups instead of single-use takeaway cups. This follows Costa Coffee’s announcement in April to pledge to recycle 500 million takeaway cups by 2020.

“The Clever Cup will hopefully motivate customers to ditch single-use cups for reusable options, and we encourage Costa Coffee to continue to think creatively about how it can reduce the number of disposable cups it sells each year,” Juliet Phillips, Ocean Campaigner, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), tells PackagingInsights.

“With around seven million disposable coffee cups used in the UK every day, it’s critical that companies shift to reusable options in order to cut down on their single-use packaging footprint.”

“The vast majority of these cups end up in landfill, with reports that less than one in 400 (< 1 percent) are recycled in the UK – creating an estimated 25,000 tons of waste each year. With reusable alternatives so widely available, there’s no excuse for beverage companies to continue to rely on this wasteful means of delivering drinks to customers,” she adds.

“With public appetite to clamp down on single-use plastics at an all-time high, companies should take the opportunity to move beyond incremental change and fundamentally rethink the way they deliver products to customers, committing to phase-out disposable options altogether. Innovations such as the Clever Cup are a step in the right direction but, to ensure a wholescale shift away from our throwaway culture, a more systematic approach to reduction will be required,” says Phillips.

The new Clever Cup is priced at £14.99 (US$19.15), with a £1 (US$1.28) donation from every sale going to The Costa Foundation.

Jason Cotta, Managing Director at Costa Coffee, comments: “Contactless technology has become increasingly prominent in our daily lives and through the launch of the new Costa-Barclaycard Clever Cup we hope to appeal to those tech-savvy customers to help facilitate and drive environmentally friendly behavior.”

“While we are committed to ensuring more takeaway coffee cups are recovered and recycled, we also want to incentivize and reward customers who help reduce the number of takeaway cups being wasted. We already offer a 25p (US$00.32) discount on hot drinks in all our stores for customers using reusable cups, and hope the innovative Clever Cup will become an additional incentive for increasing the use of reusable cups.”

Rob Morgan, Head of Sales and Partnerships, at Barclays adds: “Today’s shoppers are looking for seamless and ‘to hand’ ways to pay. Our wearable chip technology allows almost any accessory to be transformed into a smart payment device, unlocking the benefits of speed and ease in everyday purchases. We're proud to be working with Costa Coffee to give the UK another compelling reason to carry a reusable cup as part of their daily routine.”

PackagingInsights has contacted Costa Coffee and Barclays for additional comments.

By Joshua Poole

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