Start-up Newcy introduces reusable cups for vending machines
What happens when four “Entrepreneurship and Innovation” Master students of Rennes School of Business decide they cannot longer stand the sight of overflowing trash bins in consequence of disposable cups? They found their own start-up, offering an easy reusable replacement for coffee machines and water fountains by also taking care of the whole service around it. Newcy provides robust customizable cups for traditional vending machines and ensure at the same time that a collection system, professional washing and a restocking service is in place. An all-round package for any vending machine operator! This year, the French start-up made it to the six nominees for the Green Alley Award 2017, a European business competition for circular economy start-ups & eco-entrepreneurs. Read here what Caroline and Nicolas from Newcy told us about their achievements, plans and motivation:
Your team is quite a young one. How come four students decided to build up their own start-up? And where did the motivation come from to find a replacement for disposable cups in vending machines?
We all are passionate about entrepreneurship and social innovation. That’s why we decided to do a MSc. Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rennes School of Business and INSA Rennes. Our challenge: one year to build a company with team members. We naturally decided to work together because we all wanted to tackle a societal issue.
For the idea, we did the simple assessment that all the waste bins at our schools and in companies were full with disposable cups that were thrown away after a single use. When we looked into the numbers, we realized that 4.7 billion cups were thrown away every year in France. That represents 38,000 tonnes of waste. Only 1% of these cups are currently recycled. The French government decided to forbid the use of disposable cups in 2020. The issue being a real problem for the environment, we decided not to wait and to offer an efficient alternative right now.
What is so special about your reusable cups?
Our cups are adapted for the use in any vending machines, water fountains and in a cafeteria. Especially for the vending machines, it means that there is no technical change to do in the machines to implement our cups.
Nevertheless, our cups are only the top of the iceberg. What makes Newcy special, is all the service around them. Indeed we replace your disposable cups by our reusable cups directly in your vending machines, cafeterias and water fountains. After using it, you put it back in one of our cup collectors and we collect it, wash it and put it back for use. As we care as much about environmental impacts as social impacts, we chose to work with companies that employ disabled people to wash our cups.
We did a life cycle analysis, subsidized by the ADEME (The French Environment and Energy management Agency), that proves that our service has the best environmental impact in the market, compared to disposable cups, recycling solutions and even the use of a mug!
Do you reckon your current corporate design as definite or are you planning on developing it further?
Our cups are always evolving to offer a better use and design to our clients. Also we are currently developing another cup (25cl) for gourmet drinks.
Your service has already been installed at some very well-known companies such as Orange, SNCF. How has the feedback been until now?
Our clients are satisfied with our service as we allow them:
• To delete the waste related to disposable cups,
• To reduce their carbon and water emissions,
• To create employment for disabled people,
• To change behaviors for the best,
• To have a stronger internal and external communication thanks to the customization of the cups and our CSR reports.
In the day to day use, the employees find our service useful and even essential. They also took the habit to reuse their cups all day long to have a better environmental impact.
Picture: Thomas Crabot/Newcy
More information you will find here
Thank you Caroline and Nicolas for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.