Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) : Our Response

At IdealCup & CupCycling, we understand the importance of transparency, particularly when it comes to Coronavirus and reusable cups.

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.


Cafe owners are already mandated to follow the protocols of the Food Control Plan, which ensures customers won't get sick when they enjoy your hospitality.

All cafes have to 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/steriliser.



At some point, if Covid-19 takes hold and there is significant increased risk of transmission and the hospitality industry is instructed to make operational changes in the way their handle reusable cups (or any of their other food and beverage vessels), we would like recommend cafes collect reusable cups separately in a container or drop box away from the main serving counter; to ensure limited risk of transmission.



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.