CupCycling : Alert Level 2

Upper Hutt CupCycling_outside cafe


We are very excited to now have official confirmation from the Ministry of Health (now published on the official website link below) cafes can now re-engage with CupCycling in their cafes (see below):

As published on the government's COVID-19 website (scroll down to RETAIL & HOSPITALITY):

"Each business can decide if they will allow customers to use reusable cups (and containers).  If they allow it, they must manage food safety risks and adhere to food safety requirements. This applies to all reusable containers, including:

  • Personal reusable cups
  • In-house reusable cup swap schemes used by coffee shops." (in our case, CupCycling)

As we have said before, we know your priority right now is to just get through and try and get your businesses up and running so you can remain viable... and we know that's got to be your focus.

When you are ready, you can happily return to serving your customers their daily fix in the CupCycling Cups.  Be sure to follow the guidelines as set out below:


  • Make sure all your CupCycling cups are cleaned/sanitised ready for use
  • Keep the CupCycling cups on your machine and/or in a location away from public reach
  • Place a drop bin* either in-store away from the counter, or at the front door, for receiving returned/used CupCycling cups
  • Use a sign** which communicates this process to your customers and be sure to ask your staff to have a friendly chat with customers too 


  • a drop bin* - A 20 litre plastic bucket or a smaller plastic rubbish bin or a square plastic cube (all available at the Warehouse for a couple of bucks) which can be easily cleaned and dried, is ideal for this purpose
  • a sign** - Clearly label the drop bin (see our simple poster attached)


  • When the drop bin is full, take it to the back of house, separate cups and lids, wash (preferably in your dishwasher/sanitiser) then return the bin back to its spot
    • Although not mandatory, staff may wish to wear disposable gloves when separating lids from cups
  • Sanitise your CupCyling cups as you have always done
  • And around and around they go

All memberships remain suspended until further notice.

UPDATE :  Alert Level Three

Some relief finally!

From next Tuesday 28 April, cafes can re-open for contactless takeaway food and coffee, provided it is ordered online, by APP or by text.

The DON'Ts


Food and coffee orders will be made by contactless delivery or made available for contactless pick-up.

Personal Reusable Cups ARE NOT permitted.



We have engaged with Government to seek clarification around whether cafes can continue to use our sanitised CupCycling Cups and swap system.

Although we are comfortable our CupCyling cups and our system allows the safe and hygienic use of our sanitised cups and supports strong health & safety protocals, we want absolute assurance we are able to confidently use the system in it's full capacity under Alert Level Three, that being, cafes are able to receive back used cups to sanitise, ready for re-circulation.

We take health and safety very seriously and we will await this response before we make any recommendations to our CupCycling Cafe family about re-engaging with REUSE and CupCycling.

We will provide an immediate update as soon as we have a response.

Should you have any immediate questions, please get in touch with us

Sending our best wishes for next week.

Kia Kaha... there is hope

UPDATE:  18 APRIL 2020

Jacinda Post

Alert Level Three... the carrot has been dangled. The possibility, amongst many other things, we can get our hands on a real coffee! 👍

We’re excited too, there’s real potential for many struggling hospo businesses to reopen for takeaway food and coffee.
Provided it’s ‘contactless’, that is, all orders must be made are via text/online/app and available for contactless pick-up or delivery. Sadly, not just yet anyway, we can’t see you ‘face-to-face’ in the cafe and have a friendly chat (or hug for those like Steph who are missing hugs) 🤗

We’re keeping a close eye on the MPI updates and listening to the advice of industry associations. We will make an informed decision about whether our CupCycling Cafes CAN still serve coffee in our hygienic and sterilised CupCycling cups and how that will look.

Under Level Three, personal reusable cups will still not allowed to be used.

Our fine leader has already shown her commitment to choosing REUSE not ONE USE (you may have seen the image of Jacinda’s IdealCup with her lunch box the other day 😉) so we hope this means she’s amenable to seeing a continuation of cup reuse models.

We're monitoring this closely and will be in touch with all our CupCyling Cafe family to keep you abreast of progress.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to us by emailing

We’re here to support... Stay Safe, Stay at Home (for now)

Kia Kaha Aotearoa 🇳🇿♻️💚


The current concerns for some cafe owners is to avoid their staff handling a 'personal reusable cup' which may carry Covid-19.

The NZ Ministry of Health has specifically discussed personal reusable cups and has NOT banned their use.

We believe there is no cause for alarm and provided we apply commonsense and follow some basic guidelines, we can continue to choose to REUSE with reusable cups; including our CupCycling Cup Swap model.

The hospitality industry is a natural environment of heightened risk for the spread of any disease.  The reality is, there's more chance of transmission from handling cash and Eftpos cards than personal reusable cups.



The NZ Ministry of Health has released Covid-19 guidelines for cleaning and as you can see, it outlines practical recommendations we should all be following.



Reusable cups have not been banned for use by the Ministry of Health.

We have not been mandated to instruct our CupCycling Cafes to implement separate cup collection for the CupCycling Cups however, if you wish to implement a system now for separate cup collection, the recommendation is to place a suitable sized container or bucket in the Front of House area, away from the main servery/counter; where customers can 'drop' their dirty CupCycling cups.

Put up a sign/poster to educate customers of the drop system and ensure staff proactively explain the system to customers.

When the container is full, staff can take it to the kitchen for processing/cleaning of the cups; in the usual manner.   The container should be cleaned and returned for re-filling.

Staff can wear disposable gloves for this purpose however, ensuring regular hand washing is the best recommendation for minimising transmission.


All cafes must comply with NZ Food Regulations when it comes to sit-in crockery and/or reusable cups and CupCycling cups should continue to be managed in the same way - washed in a commercial dishwasher/sanitiser.



Our best advice is to:

  • Keep calm, there's no need to panic
  • Follow good hygiene practices
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Dry your hands thoroughly, preferably with a paper towel
  • Cough and/or sneeze in to the crook of your elbow or a tissue/paper towel
  • If you are unwell, don't go to public eateries
  • Call Healthline IMMEDIATELY on 0800 358 5453 if you are symptomatic of Coronavirus:
    • Runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Shortness of breath
  • Stay at home
  • Self-isolate for at least 14 days
  • Take cafe of yourself and loved ones



We are committed to continued and transparent communication around Covid-19 and its impact on all of us.

We will continue to closely monitor the Ministry of Health and WHO updates and will in turn, provide our customers with any relevant information as it comes to hand.

If you have any questions whatsoever, please don't hesitate to CONTACT US.  We're here to support you.


The last thing we want is for all the incredible work we've done collectively with our customers over the past number of years, reducing single use cup waste to landfill, to unravel overnight due to 'scaremongering' and Covid-19.

The consideration of returning to single use cups and the throw away culture would be a complete disaster for Aotearoa.

We strongly support reusable cups and sharing networks and as long as we remain vigilant with hygiene and cups continue to be dishwashed and sanitised we can continue to choose REUSE NOT ONE USE with CupCycling.