Event solutions provider Bettercup secures circular economy support grant

Sustainable event solutions provider Bettercup has secured a $446,851 grant from the Circular Economy Business Support Fund from the Victorian Government under the Recycling Victoria policy, providing the business with a much-needed boost to meet the escalating demands of large-scale events such as major sporting events, festivals, and concerts.

The Melbourne-based enterprise, founded by Christie Kamphuis (pictured, left) and Samantha Stone (pictured, right), provides reusable cups and circular services to venues and events around Australia and New Zealand, helping them move away from single-use plastic. With the grant, the company is looking to expand its local manufacturing capabilities with the expansion of its support services, encompassing washing, drying, and redistribution of reusable cups, promoting a circular economy solution that aligns seamlessly with the fund’s overarching goal of fostering circular economy practices that prevent waste, minimise pollution, and extend the life and value of products and materials.

“Our goal is to empower every venue and event we work with to implement a successful reusable cup solution that can be managed self-sufficiently and scale with their event,” Kamphuis said. “Overall, one million tonnes of single-use plastics are used by Australians every year and, sadly, 84 per cent of this ends up in landfill.

“In our experience, the event industry wants to engage in more sustainable practices, however, the complexities of collecting, washing, restocking and educating patrons about reusable cups can be burdensome,” Kamphuis added. “Comparatively, single-use cups are simple, convenient and extremely cheap which is why many event organisers default to using them.”

In addition to enhancing manufacturing capabilities, the grant will enable Bettercup to collaborate with event organisers, offering cost-effective models for implementing a reusable cup system.  

“Bettercup differentiates itself in a number of ways from businesses in a similar domain,” Kamphuis averred. “We provide circular services to support the implementation of reusable cups as we realised early on that a ‘cups only’ model was not an effective long-term solution and our customers needed circular support services to ensure success. This support ranges from pre-event planning, communications and patron education, post-event washing, sustainability reporting and storage of cups. We tailor these to the customer’s requirements to ensure successful implementation with high return rates and self-management.”

Since launching in 2018, Bettercup has supplied over 500,000 reusable cups to the events industry, with an average of 300 uses per cup. This has helped eliminate the use of around 150,000,000 single-use cups at events and venues! To date, the company has worked with major internationally renowned events including the Australian Open, Melbourne Fashion Week, Splendour in the Grass, and many more well-known beverage brands, councils and universities nationwide.

The Recycling Victoria project was made possible thanks to the Circular Economy Business Support Fund as part of the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC). CEBIC is delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government and the project is set to be completed by 15 December 2024.