Refill for Nature – Bristol’s Refill Return Cup

by City to Sea in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 30th November 2023 we successfully raised £9,030 ( + est. £385.00 Gift Aid ) with 89 supporters in 42 days

Support Bristol's Refill Return Cup Scheme to help tackle the problem of single-use waste in the city & help local communities take action

by City to Sea in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

The Refill Return Cup is the first-of-its-kind returnable coffee cup scheme in Bristol, helping reduce litter and plastic pollution in our streets, parks and harbour. 

Help us to keep powering the cup scheme in local Bristol coffee shops and stop single-use cup pollution in our hometown.

1697802687_citytosea_worldrefillday_futureleap_0165lr.jpgWhat’s happening?

City to Sea needs your help to grow the Bristol-based Refill Return Cup and tackle waste across the city! 

We need to raise £30,000 to fine tune the Refill Return Cup and engage local communities so we can bring it back for good in Bristol next year preventing even more single-use cups from polluting our city.

Thanks to Aviva matched funding, which triples your donations up to £250 per donor, we only need to raise £10,000 ourselves! This means your donation will unlock further funding having 3 times the impact!! So, for every £1 you donate, Aviva will donate £2 all the way up to £250 - and at no extra cost to you!


Why is it important?

Did you know that in our hometown of Bristol, we use a whopping 66,000 single-use coffee cups a day? And sadly we see many of them littering the River Avon, our harbourside and our streets. To tackle this problem, we launched the first-of-its-kind Refill Return Cup scheme as a pilot in June 2023 and it’s already been used 3,500 times – which means 3,500 less single-use cups polluting our city!

Now we need your help to ensure the scheme continues! The pilot is now coming to an end and we need funding to make the scheme even better and even more accessible, and to prevent even more single-use coffee cups from polluting Bristol’s streets and harbourside. 


What are we looking for funding for? 

Your donation will allow us to work closely with Bristol communities to ensure our Refill Return Cup scheme is the very best it can be. Through working with students, local volunteers and traders, and engaging communities with the Refill Return Cup, we’ll be able to connect Bristol residents to nature in their local environment, raising awareness of the issue of plastic pollution and championing the solutions to the problem. 

With this funding, we will also run creative and inspiring projects to connect communities across Bristol with nature and their local environment, encouraging them to support the Refill Return Cup scheme and helping even more people live with less waste. We will explore community activities including educational river walks, connecting our actions to our oceans and highlighting the problem of single-use plastic in our local area. We’ll also run waste workshops and engaging talks to inspire local people to take action to make Bristol a cleaner, greener place to live for all.


How is the Refill Return Cup helping tackle waste in Bristol?

The Refill Return Cup is the first-of-its-kind returnable coffee cup scheme found in independent coffee outlets across Bristol, making it easier than ever for Bristolians to choose to have their takeaway hot drinks in a reusable cup without having to remember their own. Forgotten your reusable coffee cup? We’ve got you! Think single-use coffee cups are rubbish? We’ve got you! 

Since the pilot launched in June this year, we’ve seen almost 20 independent local cafes signed up to be part of the scheme and over 600 residents and visitors to Bristol using the app to borrow and return a cup. We’ve already stopped 3,500 single-use cups from being used  - but did you know that if the cup scheme was used by just one in 10 residents just once a week, then 46,000 single-use cups would be saved across the city every week?! That adds up to about 2.5 million a year! Help us have even more impact by donating today.

"The circular cup scheme has worked so well - we have significantly reduced the amount of disposable cups and had amazing feedback from customers! The cups are really well made, and the app interface is simple to use from both sides." 

- Ben, Manager of Future Leap Café, Bristol.


Who we are

At City to Sea, we’re on a mission to prevent plastic pollution at source and make it easier for everyone to live with less waste. Our award-winning campaigns tackle the most polluting single-use plastic items, focusing on upstream solutions, so our oceans and beaches won’t need to be cleaned in the future.

The Refill Return Cup is powered by City to Sea, the Bristol-based charity behind the award-winning Refill campaign. Having made carrying a reusable water bottle the norm in Bristol (and beyond!) since the launch of the Refill campaign in 2015, we’re now helping the city break up with yet more single-use packaging by launching the Refill Return Cup to tackle the problem of disposable coffee cups.

Refill is an award-winning campaign to help people live with less waste. The campaign is designed to normalise refill and reuse behaviour by connecting people to places they can eat, drink and shop without packaging. Anyone can download the free Refill app to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill.


Take action today to help Bristol break up with single-use one cup at a time!

Bristol is pioneering the reuse revolution, helping reduce litter and plastic pollution in our streets and harbour. Be part of it by donating to our fundraiser to keep powering the Refill Return Cup in Bristol – remember whatever you give up to £250 will be matched 2:1, meaning 3 times the impact! 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

6 of 48 claimed

Circular&Co. reusable 12oz cup

We have 48 of these stunning 12oz 'Faraway' reusable cups in blue and black from Circular&Co. to give as a reward to people donating over £50. Thank you for your support!

£5 or more

1 of 7 claimed

Signed copy of Do Good Get Paid

We have limited signed copies of Natalie Fée's new book Do Good, Get Paid. In her latest book, environmental campaigner and founder of City to Sea, Natalie shares her experience of setting up a successful non-profit organisation, and provides all the practical, easy-to-follow advice you need to develop and fund an impactful campaign or fulfilling career.

£5 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Signed copy of How to Save the World For Free

We have limited copies of the sustainability handbook, How to Save the World For Free signed by author and founder of City to Sea Natalie Fée. The perfect introduction and guide to green living.

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.