AN Essex entrepreneur has raised more than £300,000 for an environmentally friendly coffee-cup business.

Alasdair Hood has received a whopping £350,000 to launch new business Delete Cups, a re-use system that helps café-goers avoid using single-use cups.

The system has been successfully trialled at Alasdair’s two pop-up cafes, Roo and FryBaby, in Braintree Village Shopping outlet.

According to the businessman, 22 billion single-use paper cups will be sent to landfill this year, equating to 20 million trees.

Braintree and Witham Times: single-use - A paper coffee cupsingle-use - A paper coffee cup (Image: Pixabay)

Delete Cups claims to offer an alternative to the current re-use systems that are already available by cutting back the admin work related to setting up an account to use the system.

To simplify and make things easier for the consumer, no customer details are required, you simply go to a café that works with Delete Cups, pay for your drink and an extra small deposit is taken for the cup.

Once you’ve finished your coffee, all you need to do is drop it off at the nearest collection point, then the deposit is refunded back into your bank account.

Braintree and Witham Times: A solution - Alasdair Hood with his productA solution - Alasdair Hood with his product (Image: Delete Cups)

Alasdair said: “Around 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year in the UK alone, with terrible consequences for the environment.

“The problem is that single-use cups are so convenient.

“While people like the idea of recycling, current systems involve so much time and effort that it deters all but the most committed.

“We set out to develop a re-use system that would offer the same convenience as single use.

“Delete Cups’ system is friction-free for consumers and baristas, and helps reduce costs for vendors.

“We hope to play our part in getting rid of single cups altogether and powering the transition to a re-use economy.”

Braintree and Witham Times: A place to drink and shop - Braintree Village's entranceA place to drink and shop - Braintree Village's entrance (Image: Braintree Village Shopping Outlet)

Each cup contains a microchip and software that connects with the transaction at the till.

The barista simply scans the cup when taking your order.

To bring his vision to life, Alasdair teamed up with project manager Dominic Brady and software engineer Tommy Herbert to develop the company’s chip, with equipment from business-to-business company, CoreRFID.

Richard Harrison of CoreRFID said: “RFID technology is ideal for re-use or recycling applications.

“Delete Cups offers a solution to the growing problem of throwaway coffee cups and we wish Alasdair and the team all the best with their new venture.”

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