Coffee chain, Starbucks, and environmental organisation, Hubbub, have launched a £1 million Bring It Back Fund today with the aim of driving the reusable packaging agenda in the UK.
Ultimately, the fund has been created to increase awareness and use of reusable packaging across society, through efforts to remove existing barriers in the food and beverage industry such as consumer concerns over hygeine and convenience.
Starbucks and Hubbub want to foster innovative new ideas for systems that make it easier for customers to use alternatives to single-use packaging and, instead, opt for reusable packaging.
The Bring It Back Fund is in place to support pilot projects that help shift people’s habits through behaviour change, incentives, research projects, new technology, innovative applications of existing technology, expansion of existing successful reuse systems, or developing entirely new service models.
Starbucks and Hubbub are seeking these ideas from the business world and entrepreneurs in the UK, and up to five projects will each receive grants of between £150,000-£300,000 for a year. Applications open today and close at 17:00 on 24 June 2022.
Development of the fund has been informed by Starbucks and Hubbub’s ongoing initiatives to drive the uptake of reuse, which includes the ‘Cup, Cup and Away’ campaign at Gatwick Airport, which aims to encourage consumers to use reusable packaging when purchasing their drinks.
Gavin Ellis, director of Hubbub, said: “We have all seen so much more single-use plastic in our everyday lives over the last couple of years that I think many people have become desensitised to it – it’s become the norm.
“We urgently have to tackle this major environmental problem and it’s crucial that we reassure the public that reusables – which are the main solution to this issue – are safe and easy to use and can save you money in the long-term.”
He added: “We’re looking for innovators with pioneering new approaches to challenge single-use packaging in the food and drink sector. If you feel you have a solution to support reusable packaging systems for food and drink products, and remove barriers for users and businesses, we want to hear about it.”
Alex Rayner, general manager at Starbucks UK, commented: “As we work to make reusability the only option, long-term, the fund will provide solutions that will benefit the entire food and beverage industry.
“The launch of the fund will work in conjunction with Starbucks’ existing reusables work, including the 25p reusable cup discount, 5p cup charge, in-store recycling, and new returnable cup programme, to advance widespread adoption of reusables as we work to become resource positive and reduce waste by 50% by 2030.”
Projects that receive grants will be selected by a panel consisting of independent experts on the circular economy, sustainable packaging and behaviour change as well as senior representatives from Starbucks.
[Image credit: Starbucks]