CanCan: a new app with a mission to make Bristol’s coffee drinking habit sustainable.


By Hannah Thompson, Second Year English

Shockingly, in Bristol alone, 66,500 disposable cups are used every day with only one in every 400 being recycled. Epigram speaks with a new initiative, CanCan, seeking to combat this colossal waste, with a reusable coffee cup scheme being launched in Bristol which is completely free to its users.

The system is simple: users can grab their drink of choice in the free CanCan cup which can be picked up at a coffee shop. All that is left to do is scan a QR code on the cup and then return it at one of the drop-off points around the city. After this, the cup will be washed and is fit for reuse. The scheme has already been introduced by several coffee shops, with more still signing up. These include Alex Does Coffee, Mokoko and Little Victories which are all conveniently located within a mile from the main university campus.

Source: The CanCan Initiative

The ethos behind this scheme is not to guilt people into changing their coffee-drinking behaviours, but to encourage them to carry them out in a more sustainable way. CanCan co-founder Dan Wright pointed out that ‘[people] can still visit their favourite coffee shop and pick up a drink in the same way as they always have, but they can now do it in the knowledge that they’re reducing waste and are part of an exciting new way to share the things we use and typically throw away every day’.

As well as an ease of use, the potential for sustainable success is clear: CanCan’s reusable cups are carbon saving after just three uses. The technology behind the app allows users to track their environmentally-friendly habits, with useful running totals on the app detailing the amount of carbon and cups in waste that have been saved. It also allows coffee-shop owners to efficiently track their overall carbon reduction. It therefore brings shoppers and buyers together into an increasing awareness of and push-back against the damage of single-use waste.

Source: The CanCan Initiative

CanCan is the latest addition to a greater movement in Bristol towards a more sustainable way of life. It follows the Voi e-scooter trial as well as the University of Bristol’s own efforts to decrease their waste output. The SU Zero Waste Shop opened on 4 November and will remain open for a trial period until the end of the term. The shop provides an array of food products and toiletries and encourages students to bring their own containers instead of relying on plastic and non-recyclable packaging, however there are also containers available to buy once there. The SU Zero Waste Shop is open 11am-3pm Monday-Friday and is located on the ground floor of the Richmond Building.

With the SU’s Sustainability Month having recently come to an end, it is the perfect time to take part in continuing sustainable efforts such as the CanCan app. You can be part of a local scheme fighting against the devastating effects of waste on climate change without incurring any additional costs.

Featured Image: The CanCan Initiative