The re-universe returns platform makes it easy for people to return items for reuse or recycling, delivering a frictionless user journey and providing transparency, data and insights for industry.
enjoy, scan, return
Following the successful pilot, Blenheim are rolling out returnable cups across the whole visitor attraction this summer.
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 UHF-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.
Saving carbon – delivering insights – commercially viable
Every year the scheme at Blenheim Palace will save approximately 32 tonnes of carbon, eliminating 400,000 single-use cups from the visitor attraction through a mix of ceramic cups and returnable cups.
The scheme saves carbon, eliminates single use cups, delivers data and insights and is also commercially viable.
“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, 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
The consumer journey
Front end simplicity – back end intelligence. No more opaque provenance. No more confused citizens.
The journey may differ by project, but all share a common goal, to make it easy for people to return items for reuse or recycling. Reducing waste and keep valuable items in the circular economy for longer.
1. Get your phone
2. Scan the code
3. Be engaged
4. Return item
5. Get deposit / rewards
We are known as pioneers in digital returns, having run 2 world-first Digital DRS projects in 2020/2021 and in 2022 we collaborated with Danone on an evian project at Wimbledon, reaching over 500,00 visitors. Our cup reuse project can be found at Blenheim Palace and is due to roll out this summer 2023.
Please get in touch and we can chat through how re-universe can work in your organisation.
1. Transforming consumer behaviour around reuse and recycling – the app incentivises and rewards consumers for good behaviour, whilst having the ability to bring transparency and traceability to the supply chain
2. Bringing incremental economic value through the recycled and re-used items – a true circular economy
3. Immutable, secure and auditable – tracking packaging end to end with smarter solutions
4. Capturing data and insights over time to understand consumer behaviour
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
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!
If you would like to talk to us about a potential collaboration please get in touch at email@example.com
We are not currently raising funds through external funding rounds.
However, we are always interested in talking to potential investors, particularly those who can bring relevant knowledge and experience.
If you are interested in potentially investing in us then please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
With billions of single use coffee cups ending up UK in landfill every year, it’s encouraging to see the rise in returnable and reusable cup schemes.
There really is no excuse for single use – but for mass engagement and take-up reuse has to be easy and frictionless.
So what’s the answer?
We believe it is re-universe. Our pioneering digital returns platform drives behavioural change and brings rich data and insights.
Tried and tested at Blenheim Palace in collaboration with Circular&Co. and rolling out across the summer, over 95% of users have said the platform is easy/very easy to use.
If you are looking for a return-for-reuse cup scheme that offers the below benefits (and more!) then get in touch…
😁 Consumer benefits
👍 No need to download an app
👍 No need to register bank details before use
👍 Return simply through tech-enabled returns
👍 Get deposit back into nominated bank account with minimal / no bank charges – quickly, easily, securely
👍 Donate to charity or have a floating deposit that can be used again and again
😁 Brand benefits
👍 Behavioural change insights to drive returns
👍 Validation of returns to reduce fraud
👍 Rich data and insights
👍 Cup-to-cup traceability
👍 Measurable scheme
👍 Multi-lingual and multi-brand
👍 Future-proofed for scaleability
Want to find out more?
Drop us an email 👉 email@example.com
We’d love to hear from you.
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 system where deposits for beverage containers will be returned through an app that gives an instant reward or loyalty card style collection of points dependent on how the consumer wishes to be rewarded for recycling. 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 and look forward to running more Digital DRS projects in the future.
We are really excited to be working with Blenheim Palace to eradicate single use, starting with cups, using our pioneering digital returnable cup scheme this summer, in collaboration with Circular&Co.
We couldn’t be prouder!
“This summer, we are rolling out a digital return-for-reuse cup scheme, eradicating single-use cups across Blenheim Palace. This important initiative eradicates single-use cups across Blenheim and reflects our commitment to becoming carbon neutral on scopes 1-3 of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol by 2027.
Visitors to Blenheim will be offered the choice of a ceramic or returnable cup when they purchase a hot drink. They will pay a deposit which they will get back when they return the cup for reuse.
Using pioneering digital technology from re-universe, there is no need to download an app or register before use. This was important to us because we want our visitors to be able to buy a coffee quickly and easily – without adding friction to their visit. When the cup is returned visitors are offered multiple options, including the ability to get their refund back digitally, donate to charity or other green initiatives.
We’ve been working with re-universe and Circular&Co..on this groundbreaking project for many months, which included running a pilot and learning and optimising in readiness for full rollout this summer.
We look forward to sharing lessons learnt and best practices to help other like-minded organisations jump on board and eradicate single use.”
David Green – Head of Innovation
re-universe technology is the cornerstone of many recycling and reuse projects that you may already be involved in! Please look at our website for more information.
Global smartphone ownership grows daily. According to recent research, 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.
Having an app based solution makes re-universe easy and convenient to use, however, for those without a smart phone, we have a home scan option.
re-universe uses GS1 global standards 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 are GS1 partners.
Returnable cup system
Jump on board to eliminate single use cups for good
with help from re-universe