The Returnable Cup System

Something’s brewing at Blenheim Palace


Buy your drink in a returnable cup and when you’re finished, scan and drop the cup into a return point to get rewarded.



Eradicating single use

Blenheim Palace is a world-class visitor attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we are proud to partner with them on the Digital Returnable Cup System.

Launching in the popular Walled Gardens, the Returnable Cup System replaces all single use coffee cups.

The flexible system allows for different user incentives in the future, from free prize draws to deposit reward.

Making an impact

“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.

We serve over 400,000 hot drinks at Blenheim each year, so this new scheme has the potential to make a big impact.

As well as incentivising people to return their used cups, the initiative also helps us to analyse behaviour and better manage cup collection”

David Green – Head of Innovation

Digital Returnable Cup System

“We are delighted to be working with Blenheim Palace to help reduce single use cups.

The Digital Returnable Cup System uses pioneering technology to engage and incentivise visitors to return their cups for reuse – again and again and again…

By giving each cup a unique digital identity, we will measure the return of cups and also relate this to behavioural insights and impact.”

Rachel Warren – Marketing Director
re-universe (previously Reward4Waste)


We are collaborating with Circular&Co who are creators of the Returnable Cup and other circular products. The returnable cup is designed to last at least 5 years and is 100% recyclable at end of life.

The returnable cup lasts over 500 wash cycles, and is 100% recyclable up to 6 times, meaning no new material is required for 9 years.

“After just 2 uses, the CO2 emission of the Returnable Circular Cup are offset versus a single-use alternative. This means that huge amounts of CO2 never reaches our atmosphere”


Digital intelligence

Bringing the UK’s first digital cup system to Blenheim Palace. Each cup has a unique QR code which, when scanned, automatically opens a returnable web-platform, entering the user into a prize draw when the cup is returned.

Our system can provide flexible incentives and rewards including a deposit and return scheme, all created to engage and incentivise your audience.

Delivering cup-to-cup traceability with a platform that allows Blenheim to delve into cup circularity, visitor engagement and project impact.




Reuse and recycling schemes play a large part in helping reduce carbon, yet few offer citizen ease and engagement for widespread take-up. Current reuse schemes ask too much of citizens (such as inconvenient return and/or queuing for deposit) and often appeal to the already converted.

The re-universe digital platform enhances reuse and recycling initiatives, bringing citizen ease of use and convenience with transparency and traceability, leading to rich data and insights and measurement of impact.

Our 2 world-first Digital DRS projects in 2020/2021 secured our place as Digital DRS pioneers. In 2022 we collaborated with evian at The Championships 2022 at Wimbledon reaching over 500,00 visitors, and more recently with Sainsbury’s during Recycle Week.

We are also running a digital returnable cup system at Blenheim Palace in collaboration with Circular&Co. eradicating single use cups in the Walled Gardens and The Pantry.

1. Our technology incentivises and rewards users for good return or recycle behaviour. Our Digital DRS pilot in Dublin saw an impressive 94% return rate

2. Increasing reuse and recycling brings incremental economic value – a true circular economy

3. Immutable, secure and auditable – tracking packaging end to end within the supply chain

4. Capturing data and insights over time to understand consumer behaviour and help with your EPR targets

5. Depending on the scheme, re-universe can work within existing waste management and infrastucture – reducing costs and carbon footprint

6. re-universe offers a real chance to accelerate change and make a positive difference

7. re-universe brings consumer ease to reuse and recycling, with Queens University Belfast showing very strong community engagement during our Whitehead Digital DRS Pilot

8. You are in good company. We our proud to have run projects with Blenheim Palace, evian, Wimbledon, IWMA, Bryson Recycling, MEA Borough Council, and we have many more projects coming up in 2023!

9. Our experienced team have managed several major projects on time, within scope and within budget

10. Don’t just take it from us – this is what evian say about us…
“We were delighted to launch a new recycling reward scheme at The Championships, Wimbledon 2022 in partnership with re-universe, to encourage recycling of drinks containers at Wimbledon. It was exciting to see visitors using the web-app, scanning recycling points then their bottles or cans to return them and ensure that packaging could be kept in the loop. The team was also really agile and responsive, making this activation seamless and successful!” Pauline Gordon, Brand Manager Plain Water (evian & Volvic)

We our proud to have run projects with Blenheim Palace, evian, Wimbledon, IWMA, Bryson Recycling, MEA Borough Council, and we have many more projects coming up in 2023!

All of our live projects can be found on our website, we are working on a number of projects yet to appear so watch this space!

We are always interested in talking to potential investors, particularly those who can bring relevant knowledge and experience.

Please contact us using the form in the website.

There is a growing global awareness of the waste crisis; governments across the globe are under pressure to take action.

The UN Global Partnership on Marine Litter has an action plan put forward by the G7 and G20 and a resolution on marine litter and microplastics was adopted at the United Nations Environment Assembly.

The EU has set out its vision for Europe’s new plastics economy EU Member States will be obliged to reach a 90% collection rate for disposable plastic drink bottles by 2025. By 2030 all plastics packaging placed on the EU market will be recyclable or easily recycled. An EU target is in place for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2030 and the EU has issued a directive requiring every soft drink producer to use at least 25% recycling by 2025.

Plans are in place to introduce a DRS scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2023 with Scotland the first to implement within the UK.

Ambitious legislative targets are being put in place; many countries will struggle to meet targets and new processes and levers need to be developed to tackle the practicality of waste management and the inertia in behavioural change.

We believe radically improving reuse and recycling is the cornerstone to turning the tide. It is clear that collection, sorting and reprocessing need to improve, but in parallel having a circular system that engages and changes consumers behaviour is critical to the success of any solution.

Deposit return schemes (DRS) are becoming more and more common all around the world. When you purchase a drink in a plastic bottle (in some cases glass) you’ll be charged a small deposit at point of purchase. When you return the bottle for recycling, you will receive your deposit back.

How your deposit is returned to you is dependent on how the country runs their DRS. In some nations, you’ll need to return the bottle to a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) at a superstore or other retail location. In other countries, the bottle will need to be returned to a designated recycling point (like a council run tip or waste management site). Regardless of the location, the deposit is always able to be claimed back.

The UK government has announced a DRS will be introduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2024, with Scotland looking to introduce a DRS earlier.

re-universe have developed a digital platform so that consumers can take part in the scheme using an app on their phone. This allows them to return items at home, on-the-go or back to store. We operate using a simple to use front end, with an intelligent back end, allowing deposits for beverage containers to be returned via our app, giving instant refunds, rewards or they can donate to charity. This is known as Digital DRS and we are known in the industry as the Digital DRS pioneers.

We have run 2 World-first projects in Northern Ireland and Dublin seeing strong citizen engagement and an impressive 94% return rate. We look forward to running more Digital DRS projects in the future.

We are really excited about the potential of re-universe and are currently working with key organisations across the UK and beyond on their reuse and recycling projects Please do contact at if you would like to chat to us about how we could help your organisation.

The digital returnable cup scheme is an easy to use scheme that eradicates single use cups.

Working in collaboration with Circular&Co. who are creators of the returnable cup, each cup is uniquely coded to engage users and track-and-trace every single cup.

The scheme instantly rewards people for returning their cups for reuse, and shares individual and community impact.

Real time data and insights to bring intelligence and impact to sustainability initiatives.

Flexibility: Deposit & return | return & reward | return & donate or hybrid.

Our recent project with Blenheim Palace does not require an app to be downloaded, users simply scan to open up the digital platform. More information can be found on our website.

Global smartphone ownership grows daily. According to recent research by statista, in the UK 95% of all households in the UK own a mobile phone, with 78% of those using a smart phone and this number is growing fast. Our recent pilot in Whitehead showed usage across all age ranges including those of 80 years and older, with research from Queens University Belfast sharing the app is very easy to use.

Having a smart phone based solution makes re-universe easy and convenient to use, however we can provide other options for those without access to a smart phone.

re-universe (previously Reward4Waste) uses unique codes, or serialisation, which are placed on each individual item (either on the physical product or a receipt).

Digitisation is without doubt the future of a true circular economy, allowing for traceability of waste, immutability, flexibility, rich insights and data – for cradle to grave accountability.

We are code agnostic – we can either create the unique codes for you, or work with your unique codes.

We believe that Blockchain technology has the potential to transform recycling behaviour. Blockchain provides a digital ledger that is a continuously growing distributed database and cryptographically secured. Blockchain offers immutability, security and is fraud proof. However, we believe in green blockchain - so that it has a low carbon footprint.
A reverse vending machine (RVM) uses technology to identify, collect and process used beverage containers for reuse or recycling. Using the example of a standard vending machine, you insert money and receive a drink or other item in return for your money. When using a reverse vending machine, you insert an empty drinks bottle and receive money in return for recycling. re-universe (previously Reward4Waste) works like a reverse vending machine from your phone, using the app to allow you to recycle your bottle in return for a reward. Due to the unique coding system you can only redeem the same container once (so there is no fraud).

Contact us to find out more

If you are a business and want to find out more about our digital cup system, fill out the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.