Back in April Save a Cup were placed into Administration by their owners following a prolonged period of difficult trading conditions. It would appear that no interested party has stepped forward to offer the company help in the form of a capital injection to enable trading to continue while the business model could be reviewed or to buy it outright as a viable operation. As a consequence all Save a Cup services have ceased to operate and this leaves a serious short term gap in the vending industry recycling chain between producer/customer/consumer that will need to be bridged.
With the significant increase in transport costs over the past couple of years the idea of a ‘man in a van’ running around collecting bags of used plastic cups and drinks sachets from a wide range of addresses, even on a carefully planned collection round, before returning to a central base with a limited quantity for sorting and processing really was a challenging ask. Clearly keeping vending consumables out of landfill and putting the raw materials collected to an effective second use is a responsible environmental objective. But as Save a Cup have now demonstrated the financial fundamentals underpinning any business plan have to hold up however laudable the ideals. The economics have to be correct for the environmental aspirations to be met on a long term basis, and the tough commercial reality in this case that they were not.
The future is likely to see a further strengthening in the specialist bulk collection of all commercial waste for onward sorting at a central point, with the various elements sent for composting, paper recycling, metal reclamation, energy conversion, or plastic reuse rather than individual collections from the end user of selected parts of their waste stream. As the volume of waste sent to landfill continues to reduce significantly then we are more and more likely to find that most vending consumables can be effectively handled via the workplace general waste system rather than the separate sorting, storage and collection needed by the Save a Cup model. It is clearly established principle that the easier any method is for a given function the more effective the end result.
The great benefit of a hot drinks machine from KSV vending is the speed and simplicity of a quality hot drink being delivered at the touch of a button. The move towards a time where any packaging and paper or plastic cup from your vending system can simply be disposed of via your normal bin, safe in the knowledge that it can be composted, recycled or used in energy generation is moving ever closer and should bring the most cost and environmentally effective solution to us all.
Written by: Colin from KSV.