Seaside village launches reusable cup to cut waste
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A seaside village has launched a scheme to cut the number of disposable cups clogging its bins by replacing them with reusable ones.
The scheme was given its official launch at Richardson's Yacht Club in Hemsby with nine cafes and attractions signing up to help tackle the growing problem of cups being binned.
Some 1,000 cups will be available to use with customers paying a £2 deposit and then returning it to any of the participating venues for their money back.
James Bensly, of Hemsby Beach Cafe, said it was "heartbreaking" to see so many takeaway drinks being bought and the cups used for just a few minutes before being thrown away.
"It is a bold, brave step," he said.
"People have got used to taking their own carrier bags to supermarkets so hopefully they can get used to this too. Will it work? We don't know - but we have to give it a try."
As an incentive he would be offering a discount to cup users, he added.
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Those gathered at the launch heard how Hemsby was struggling with overflowing bins and that the cup scheme was not the only initiative.
Also helping Hembsy to keep a lid on its rubbish are "bottleship bins" - large sculptures for the disposal of plastic bottles.
Project leader Ben Gulliver said the Hemsby boat bin would be based on the village lifeboat, with a representation of Nelson's HMS Elephant planned for Great Yarmouth's Jetty, and a bin version of the Lydia Eva ready to go in along Gorleston's lower prom near the splash pad.
Also ready to be installed are "smart" bins that compact the rubbish and alert the authorities when they are nearly full, leading to fewer trips to check on them and cleaner streets.
Other initiatives include a new Hemsby community fridge in the main village, where people can donate in date items for free redistribution to the local community in order to reduce food waste.
There are also plans to work with a start-up environmental firm to convert business’ plastic waste into new items, like furniture and jewellery.
The green initiatives are being backed by FACET, a cross-European project to encourage ‘circular’ solutions which reduce waste, and includes projects in Netherlands, Belgium, and France as well as the UK, and is being delivered locally by Norfolk County Council working jointly with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.