What is CupCycling™ and how does it work?

Conceived by us, the proud Kiwis behind IdealCup™, CupCycling™ is the very first reusable 'cup swap system' to be rolled out in New Zealand; using our New Zealand-made, lifetime reusable IdealCups!

Started in July 2017 in Motueka, CupCycling™ has proven itself to be a simple and effective REUSE SYSTEM, which really does do what it says - reduces thousands and thousands of single-use cups from landfill!

CupCycling™ is NOT a model designed for our business' commercial gain.  We developed it as a SOCIAL ENTERPRISE movement; to sit alongside our IdealCup business - it's about PEOPLE OVER PROFIT!

CupCycling™ is about engaging with PEOPLE and have a real discussion about ALL OF US working together and making a COMMITMENT to move away from the horrid throw away culture habit we have created.

CupCycling™ stems from our VISION to broker discussion and bring like minded people together.  So our model isn't about promoting our IdealCup brand, nor is it about promoting individual cafe brands – it's about EVERYONE SUPPORTING a regional identity and working together to reduce single use waste from landfill.

With CupCycling™, multiple participating cafes in a community/region band together to reduce disposable cup waste to landfill, by promoting the CupCycling™ "reusable cup swap" system throughout their region.

The CupCycling™ model is flexible and can be used by just a single cafe wanting to have a "reusable cup swap system" for their own customers.  We encourage larger numbers of cafes within a community/region to work together, to ensure the greatest impact.

We also have proven success with CupCycling™ within corporate businesses - for example, think of a building where hundreds of staff are located and visit a dedicated, onsite cafe on the ground floor, or a nearby cafe to the building.

Instead of the cafe serving takeaway drinks in single use cups, they simply swap out the single use for the REUSABLE CupCycling™ cups and the staff only have their takeaway coffees in a REUSABLE CUP, EVERY TIME!

They can leave the cup at the cafe or in the building's kitchenettes, where they are cleaned and collected and returned to the cafe for REUSE .... simple, effective and measureable.

The corporate model is a no-brainer for businesses wanting to reduce their environmental footprint and remove all those nasty single use cups that end up in the rubbish bins throughout the building.

It's a win, win, win - for the business, for the staff and for the cafe - AND IT WORKS!

CupCycling™ is tried and tested and the results speak for themselves:

  • 16,000 single use cups diverted from landfill in a year in Motueka
  • Over 7,000 single use cups diverted from landfill in just over 7 months in Titirangi
  • Over 13,000 single use cups diverted from landfill in just 8 months at Kanteen Cafe at NZ Post in Wellington (Corporate Model)

And we collect data, which supports the success of our CupCycling™ programme.

There is NO TIME better than NOW to get on board and help make YOUR TOWN Disposable Cup Free with CupCycling™ 

Get in touch to find out how YOUR TOWN or CORPORATE OFFICE can get involved and start diverting all that nasty single-use waste from landfill!

  • #reuseNOToneuse
  • #cupcycling
  • #theoriginalreusemovement

CupCycling™ works on a similar principle as Boomerang Bags - a borrow, return, borrow again system.

With CupCycling™, the cafe customer pays a one off 'BOND' as a membership; essentially joining the CupCycling™ Programme and getting the ongoing use of a reusable CupCycling™ cup from any participating cafe.

Customers simply return their dirty cup to any participating CupCycling™ cafe each day, get a clean cup with their drink and thereinafter, just pay for the drink - and around and around they go!

We're so proud very so many regions around New Zealand have reached out to us, to make CupCycling™ a reality in their region.

We constantly receive such positive feedback from our wonderful regions, telling us how they completely "get" what we're setting out to achieve, that the model is so community focused and has such a positive 'feel good' vibe.  We also get extremely positive support and buy-in from regional councils and stakeholders, thrilled to support a New Zealand made product and initiative, that they are proud to put their name on.

Our regions understand the intentions of our CupCycling™ Programme and have chosen our model to represent their sustainable goals and beliefs, whilst they continue to strengthen their values as a community within our beautiful Aotearoa.

We've proudly the following regions to successfully roll-out our CupCycling™ Programme:

  • Dunedin City
  • Cromwell
  • Upper Hutt City
  • Richmond
  • Golden Bay
  • Nelson
  • Titirangi
  • Wellington
  • And even Prince George in British Columbia, Canada!

We have many more regions already set to join our CupCycling™ family this year and have others who have contacted us, wanting more information:

  • Whakatane
  • Thames
  • Queenstown
  • Wanaka
  • Cambridge
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Southland
  • Tauranga
  • Hamilton
  • Petone

There is NO TIME better than NOW to get on board and help make YOUR TOWN Disposable Cup Free with CupCycling™ 

  • Is your REGION on our list?
  • Would you like to see CupCycling™ in your town?
  • Do you want to Join the Original Reuse Revolution and help us to make our beautiful New Zealand clean and green once more?

Get in touch to find out how YOUR TOWN or CORPORATE OFFICE can get involved and start diverting all that nasty single-use waste from landfill!

*The bond is non-refundable to the customer and each cafe retains the money received from the bond. This can then be used to purchase additional CupCyclingTM cups, if they are required for your cafe.

Current CupCycling™ Cafē Locations


How does it work?


Pay a ONE OFF, $10 bond at any participating cafe and receive your drink in a reusable CupCycling™ cup and enjoy the ongoing use of the reusable cups forever.  One simple payment - once only - too easy!


Return your used CupCycling™ cup to ANY participating cafe and get your next coffee in a clean CupCycling™ cup.  We take care of the cleaning, so you never have to wash a cup - or remember a cup... even better!

Return your used/dirty CupCycling™ cup the next day, to ANY participating cafe and get your next coffee in a clean CupCycling™ cup.  We take care of the cleaning/sterlising and you never have to wash your cup!


Reuse - Continue to enjoy the use of CupCycling™ cups at all participating cafes in our network throughout New Zealand and enjoy a discount on every coffee you purchase.  And around and around it goes - That's CupCycling™!

The CupCycling™ programme is designed for cafés

For your daily regular customers who want to do their part, without the responsibility of owning a reusable cup.

With the CupCycling™ programme, your customers don't have to purchase their own IdealCup rather, they BORROW a cup from you each day for their drink (which you serve with a biodegradable/compostable lid).

Your customers pay you a "bond" upfront of $10 (this $10 includes their first beverage) and this gives your customers the ongoing use of a CupCycling™ cup.

The $10 Bond also covers your costs if a customer doesn't return the cup for some reason and also allows you to purchase further cups, should you require more, over and above your initial volume.

Each day when your customers return to your cafe, they give you back their used (and sometimes dirty) CupCycling™ cup and you give them a clean CupCycling™ cup with a new biodegradable/compostable lid.

You then put the dirty cups in your dishwasher ready for reuse - and around and around they go. The IdealCup is 100% commercial dishwasher safe, for ease of cleaning within your cafe/business.

IdealCup also stocks and sells biodegradable/compostable lids which fit the IdealCup perfectly. Get in touch with us for more info.

Make your café disposable cup free

Your customers will feel great supporting your GREEN initiatives and they will be doing their little bit to help keep our beautiful environment clean and green, without the responsibility of owning the cup, washing the cup and most of all, remembering to bring the cup – you take care of that.

And when your customers buy their drink each day in the reusable cup, as a sweetner, you could consider discounting their drink price, as a reward for their sustainable efforts - and of course, you'll be saving money by not buying as many disposable takeaway cups for your business, so it's a WIN WIN for you and your customers!

Using CupCycling™ in Motueka NZ, we have diverted
single-use cups from landfill in Motueka in just over 1 year!

Look for the CUPCYCLING™ logo in participating cafes

Ask your local cafē to get involved!