Coffee Shop Introduces Rent-A-Cup to Combat Caffeinated Paper Waste

Do-good to the last drop

New York is filled with trash. We produce 12,000 tons of crap each day. A large portion of that crap consists of the paper coffee cups we use every day.

One group of New Yorkers is trying to change that, without taking away the jittery, caffeine-induced high that makes life bearable.

On Monday, they launched a three-day test run of the Good To Go Cup program, or what The New York Daily News describes as “the Citi Bike of coffee.”

Here’s how it works: Customers pay $5 for a reusable cup and get a free coffee (for now, the only participating shop is Brooklyn Roasting Company, in DUMBO). When they’ve finished the coffee, customers return the cup to the coffee shop or a drop-off station, but keep the lid. Next time they buy a cup of joe, flashing the lid gets them access to a speedy priority line and a 25 cent discount on their coffee, which comes in a new reusable cup.

“The amount of paper waste is the dirty secret of the coffee retail business,” Jim Munson, Brooklyn Roasting Company co-owner, told The Daily News. “We want to solve the problem.”

America uses 16 trillion paper cups each year, according to Good To Go’s myriad of infographics. Making those cups produces 4 billion pounds of CO2, which sounds extremely large.

So Good To Go cups are environmentally friendly, just like Citi Bike. They’re also the exact same shade of blue. Hopefully, though, they’ll be more profitable than the bike share system.