No Disposable Cup Day
October 4, 2023 | Written by Rachel Warren
No Disposable Cup Day. When one day becomes everyday at Blenheim Palace
Eliminating single use cups for good with help from re-universe
We are excited to announce on No Disposable Cup Day, that after a successful pilot, Blenheim are taking the bold step in eliminating 400,000 single use cups annually through offering crockery (drink in) and Circular&Co. returnable cups (drink on the go).
With a £2 deposit, visitors scan the unique GS1 QR code on the cup which automatically opens the re-universe returns platform for speedy return and deposit refund. Visitors can also gift the deposit to Blenheim’s green initiatives or donate to charity.
There’s no need to download (yet another) app or cause friction by asking the user to register before purchase. Each cup is embedded with RFID technology from Avery Dennison which enables full cup traceability on the re-universe platform, allowing Blenheim to manage their cup inventory with accurate data including return and reuse rates, washing status and location inventory. RFID tech also helps remove unnecessary friction for the consumer.
Following the successful pilot, Blenheim are rolling out returnable cups across the whole visitor attraction this autumn.
How does it work?
Visitors to Blenheim Palace pay a £2.00 deposit on a returnable cup when they purchase a hot drink and get their money refunded back into their nominated bank account when they return the cup for reuse. Visitors can also donate to charity or have a floating deposit to use again and again.
We like to make things easy, so there’s no need to download (yet another) app or cause friction by asking the user to register before purchase. Baristas also don’t have to scan cups out.
The re-universe platform opens automatically when the visitor is ready to return the cup, by scanning the unique QR code on the cup or return point.
Each cup is uniquely identified by GS1 QR codes and supported with RFID, which enables Blenheim to manage their cup inventory with accurate data including return and reuse rates, washing status and location inventory. RFID tech also helps remove unnecessary friction for the consumer.
We’ve collaborated with Circular&Co. on this groundbreaking project. Their returnable cups are tested for at least 1,000 uses, the cups are ‘real world’ recyclable at end of life. Using this returnable cup just three times means it is carbon negative vs. single use.
No Disposable Cup Day – When One Day Becomes Everyday
re-universe is a digital returns platform that makes it easy for people to embrace reuse and recycling in their everyday lives.
Providing the digital backbone of a circular economy
“The returnable cup scheme will eradicate single-use coffee cups on the Estate by using deposit return technology.
We believe climate change is the single biggest threat to Blenheim’s long-term survival and we’re committed to doing all we can to reduce and mitigate its impacts and help safeguard this World
Heritage Site and its resources for future generations.”
David Green – Head of Innovation, Blenheim Palace
“Avery Dennison’s RFID technology, as used by re-universe, helps precisely manage cup inventory with real-time visibility into usage, washing status and availability. A quick scan replaces manual counting and also removes unnecessary steps for the consumer by streamlining the return process.”
Peter Jackson – Avery Dennison
“The investment re-universe have made is very exciting, they are both creative and push boundaries with very innovative ideas. The use of our standards will undoubtedly future proof their customers and we are delighted to be working with them to reduce our collective dependency on single use plastic packaging.”
Jason Hale, head of product, GS1 UK
If you’d like to find out more or chat to us about a potential project please email