University of Winchester

Gumdrop Cups

In November 2016 the University reduced the base price of hot and cold drinks across campus by 25p and applied the same amount as a surcharge when drinks were bought in a disposable cup.

Additionally the university gave away 3000 reusable cups in February and March 2017. And these were no ordinary cup, made by Gumdrop Ltd each cup contains approximately 42 pieces of used chewing gum – 20% of the cup's content – mixed with other recycled plastics. Gumdrop bins across campus collect chewing gum to be recycled into Gum-tec Americano mugs. Following these efforts an average of 33 drinks in every 100 are now served in a reusable cup, up from 3 in 100 in 2015/16

Key takeaways;

  • The surcharge had much greater success compared to previous discount approaches.
  • The closed loop element of the Gum-tec Americano mugs grabbed the imaginations of staff and students
  • The great cup giveaway was seen as a successful addition to encourage reusable cup use, and the university now gives every new student a free Gum-tec Americano mug during in enrolment week.   
  • Overall sales in 16/17 and 17/18 are up by 2.5% which shows that the 25p surcharge has not significantly affected sales