Enabling a community of sustainable coffee consumption


Sommersemester 2019 - Coffee Cup Sharing - Student Start-up Project


Just in Vienna 84 Million disposable cups for coffee, tea and other hot drinks are used and thrown away right after. The average cup-lifetime of such disposable cups are 15 min. The problem is that those paper cups do not just consist of paper, but they also have a polyethylene plastic liner that make them difficult to recycle. Therefore, the EU adopted a directive on single-use plastic. According to that, coffee shops will first have to pay fees for using disposable cups and second they have to eliminate or drastically reduce the usage of those disposable items in the long run.

In order to reduce the amount of 100 billion single-use cups worldwide, the idea is to create a returnable cup ecosystem for hot beverage drinks. Hot beverage drinkers can look for a participating coffee shop through the website or Chatbot. Once they found one, those users can order their drinks in a reusable Coffee Cup Sharing (CCS) cup at one of the participating coffee shops. In order to take the coffee cup away users are paying a small deposit. When finished, they can return their unclean coffee cup at any participating coffee shop and swap their used coffee cup for the same amount of deposit they paid in the first place. Thus, users do not need to worry about washing the cup, as the partnering store will make sure that this activity will be either be internally or externally carried out.

Coffee cup sharing will provide their service based on a subscription model to participating coffee shops. Hence, the main activities of Coffee Cup Sharing is, picking up used cups and in return delivering clean cups. After the washing process, they get back into the “Deposit Cup Circle”. Participating coffee shops can also choose to undertake the washing process themselves.

The business models of successful startups show that the current economy is increasingly developing in the direction of a circular economy (Uber, Airbnb, Lime). Based on acquired data of coffee drinkers, coffee shops and performed research about the upcoming EU directive, the CCS Team created a sustainable system that will reduce waste and offers coffee shops an alternative so that they are able to comply with the requirements of the new directive on time.

Contact Person

  • Jasmin Seliansky

Student team

  • Jasmin

  • Isabella

  • Nikita

  • Samuel

  • Stefan


  • Alexander Staub, Richard Olbrecht

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