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We're a group of three people aimed at developing ecological project CupToU.

Our priorities are:
- An extension of opportunities for waste prevention through adding new partners to CupToU project
- An integration of circular economy strategies in gastronomic sector

First of all within CupToU project we hope to involve over 50 cafes and restaurants into cooperation in Odessa city and thus give them an opportunity to refuse the use of single-use cups for drink-to-go service.

The most ambitious our dream is to spread CupToU service throughout Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnepr cities.

The problem we are trying to solve:

"I've been sorting waste for four years. Pretty soon I felt that I wanted to create greater positive effect on environment than I could achieve on an individual level. Thus I've created an initiative group among my collegues at my previous office where I was employed as a programmer and we made a project of waste segregation within our large office. We've won internal CSR Incubator financing which helped us organize opportunities for waste sorting in our office and online eco-lecture for all Ukrainian Luxoft offices by NoWasteUkraine organization.

At the same time I understood that waste management firstly starts from waste preventing, but not recycling as it's understandable from circular economy strategies and even intuitively. And as previously I wanted to scale this idea I payed my attention to the problem of widely used single-use cups for drink-to-go service which are less popular material for recycling and moreover in majority of cases end their lifecycle at landfills. "

"The problem of single-use cups as well as other single-use items affects local community and the whole world in three aspects.

Firstly the production of paper cups causes regular cutting of trees because a material needed for the production should consist of wood not less than 70%. For production of 209 million cups used in Ukrainian market in 2019 nearly 83 600 trees were cut. There is a huge logging in Ukrainian part of Carpathian mountains. Who knows which percent of the forest is exported for a paper cups production.

Next effect is CO2 emissions caused by cups production and transportation. Taking into account that production of one cup leads to 110 grams of CO2 emissions we know that nearly 22 990 tons of CO2 emitted in 2019 for producing of cups used in local Ukrainian market. This amount of emissions is equal to an amount produced by 8 514 cars in one year! That's how the production of single-use items intensifies global warming.

And of course an obvious consequence of this industry is a huge amount of waste which doesn't tend to decompose faster then within nearly 50 years because of plastic layer inside paper cups."

The solution we are proposing:

"A solution for this problem is widely used in Europe, USA, Singapore - it's called deposit system for drink-to-go cups and is an impementation of cicular business model called sharing platform. With CupToU project we give an opportunity for cafe clients to take drink-to-go not into single-use cup, but in special reusable cup which is located just in cafe. Client pays deposit for a cup and can return it to any cafe-partner and get 100% of deposit back. Thus he doesn't need to go to the same place of rent or take his own reusable cup. Thus our service helps to be ecological as in case of using own cup, but at the same time it's as convenient as using disposable cup. As we conducted a survey we discovered that 90% percent of reusable cup owners forget them when their cup is needable for taking drink to-go. Thus this service is first of all usefull for those who aren't indifferent for environmental problems, but the same time able to forget their own cup in some cases. "

This project makes two goals accomplishable at the same time - being ecological in to-go consumption and being spontaneous within this action. We're itching to change the feature that to-go consumption is harmfull for environment by default and create a system which is more neutral by default.

The realistic steps are already taken. CupToU service has been working for 2.5 month and there's nine cafe-partners in Odessa city where the rent and return of the cup is available.

What success looks like for us:

The success can be described in nearly 40 - 50 cafes in CupToU system in Odessa and up to 50 cafes in other large cities and of course a minimum number of rentals each day - nearly 10. With this facts we would be able to say, how many single-use cups were prevented from achieving a landfill.

Where we are are based:

Odesa, Ukraine

Funding we are applying for:

$12,000 - $14,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

This funding will help us to add up to 50 partners to the system in one year not only in Odessa but in one or more large Ukrainian cities.

How this funding will strengthen our group:

This funding will directly affect a growth of the project which could give more energy for creation for me as a founder and for team members. Moreover this is a source for decent payment of designer and traget specialist work.

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

Within Spark Fund grantees community I hope to find other sustainable projects with which we could collaborate and create greater positive effect sharing this ideas with wider audience.

How we would like to spend a grant through the Spark Fund:

"Mostly the grant will be spent for target specialist salary and designer salary. Also huge part of financing will be used for ordering cups for adding new partners. Additionally we're going to create videos for promoting CupToU."

Our Annual Income:

0 EUR. Currently it's non-profit organization.

Our Organization Structure:

"Our group consists of three young under 30 years old members - designer Rostislav Volokitin, target specialist Ivan Kirilenko and CEO Liana Dzhanashyia. Liana is responsible for development strategy of CupToU project, social media content creating, negotiations with potential partners and further partnership approval."

Designer is responsible for visual content making for CupToU project and target specialist is responsible for target ads setup in Facebook Ads Manager. These specific tasks is usually set by CEO and decision could be collectively dicussed. The CEO makes decisions concerning development/marketing/communication strategies.

CupToU is our own initiative aimed at developing sustainable consumption culture in Ukraine. That means first of all that we're not managed by governmental or business representatives. Secondly we're free to spread circular economy strategies aimed not at battling the consequences of waste problem but its roots.