A new company in Victoria is hoping to offer a reusable option for coffee drinkers. (Facebook/The Nulla Project)

A new company in Victoria is hoping to offer a reusable option for coffee drinkers. (Facebook/The Nulla Project)

Victoria residents launch reusable coffee cup exchange program in downtown area

The Nulla Cup project is available at several downtown businesses

Two Victoria residents are working to see less disposable cups in the trash.

Nancy Prevost and Caroline Thibault founded The Nulla Project, which offers reusable coffee cups that can be purchased for a $5 deposit and used at local java hot spots. People can keep the cup for up to 400 uses, exchange the cup for a new one or return it for the $5 deposit back.

“Both of us never use single-use items, so if we forget our cups we just don’t buy anything,” said Prevost. “I used to be a server, and was just so tired of seeing so many single-use items going in the trash. So last Christmas Caroline and I started talking about how there must be a solution.”

ALSO READ: More than 25,000 single-use items thrown out in downtown Victoria every day

In a recent trash analysis report to the City of Victoria it was discovered that people in downtown Victoria throw out an average of 25,000 single-use items everyday, including 13,000 single-use cups.

Further analysis of the trash composition at the Hartland Landfill discovered that more than 60 per cent of trash is either recyclable or compostable, but not forwarded to other facilities.

In the United States and larger cities across Canada reusable cup services already exist, so Prevost and Thibault felt it would work well as a business in Victoria. They applied for an incubator project grant with Synergy Sustainability Institute and won in early 2019.

For the past year they’ve been developing the brand, researching the cups and reaching out to local businesses.

The cups are comprised of BPA-free polypropylene, a fully recyclable plastic, and manufactured in the United States.

READ MORE: Majority of household trash going to the Hartland Landfill is recyclable, compostable

“We looked at a lot of options; ceramic can break, bamboo is a heat conductor, glass shatters, so for now plastic is still the best option,” Prevost said. “But, knowing that this can be used 400 times and recycled at the end makes it part of the circular economy.”

The cups officially launched in Victoria in mid-November, and are slowly appearing at local businesses.

Currently the cups are available for purchase and exchange at the Zero Waste Emporium at 1728 Douglas St. and at 2% Jazz coffee shops at 1701 Douglas St. or 740 Hillside Ave. The Nulla Project cups will also be available at two more downtown locations as of next week.

Prevost and Thibault will also be part of the upcoming City of Victoria New Years Levée, where the theme is climate action.

For more information on the imitative visit thenullaproject.ca .

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Climate crisiscoffeeEnvironmentRecycling

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emergency crews and animal control responding to a struck pedestrian and limping dog at Quadra and View streets Wednesday morning. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Pedestrian struck at Quadra and View

Emergency crews on scene

The Farm Fresh website makes it easy to connect with local farmers. (Courtesy Farm Fresh)
Island Farm Fresh Guide lets residents explore local product

Guide appears in this week’s edition of Black Press Media newspapers from Duncan to Victoria

Victoria police arrested federal offender Travis Moore April 13, who was wanted for breaching the conditions of his statutory release. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police arrest federal offender following foot chase

Travis Moore, 28, was wanted for breaching the conditions of his statutory release

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines: Health Canada

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

A man sustained burns to his body near this spot around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Courtenay. The fire was left of the pathway. The Station youth housing facility and city public works yard are to the right of the trail. Photo by Terry Farrell
Man catches fire sleeping while outdoors in downtown Courtenay

Firefighters say man still burning when they arrived after he fell asleep next to his fire

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

Most Read