In 2020, in France, plastic cups will be banned. Not just cups actually, all disposable tableware. French startup Newcy is ahead of the game and offers a solution for businesses keen on corporate social responsability. What if your next coffee break was a treat for the environment?
Let’s face the facts. In France alone, 4.7 billion plastic cups are used every year. Only 1% of these cups are recycled. The environmental cost is huge. Caroline Bettan, Hugo Roy, Nicolas Douchet et Jérémy Renouard, wondered how they could help make the planet great again, one coffee at a time. Enter the Rennes startup “Newcy”, like in New Cycle.
Re-use vs Recycling
The idea of Newcy is to get rid of these plastic cups that plague our daily coffee break routine. These cups are an environment hazard to manufacture. They are also a disposable nightmare.
Newcy offers to trade those cups for their own polypropylene cups. What difference is there? The Newcy cup are suitable for re-use after they’ve been cleaned up.
I know what you’re thinking: “do you really think people will clean their own cup?”. No, they won’t. But they don’t have to. Newcy provides a collector where you can dispose of the cups. They are then taken to a cleaning facility, repackaged and then brought back to the client. Each business keeps their own cups, meaning you can brand them with the business’ logo.
Corporate Social Responsability
Newcy’s founders don’t take social responsability as a light word. Their initiative is great for the environment and that’s the primary goal. Did you know that their solution is actually cleaner than the good old mug?!?
But they don’t stop there. The cleaning of the cups is outsourced to sub-contrators who hire workers in social distress. Newcy not only take a stand in Greentech but they also care to include those who are left out.
Changing behaviour with a smile
Whenever one tries to change user’s behavior, relunctance is often the first reaction. Newcy tries to gamify the whole process. Users can see how much they’ve contributed to aleviate their carbon footprint by checking the readouts on the collector.
Sometimes, a special golden cup is hidden (in the case of a closed dispenser) and the person who gets it wins a box of goodies from Brittany.
The team and the future
Competition is scare. Newcy is alone on the market of re-usable cups. The main competition are the plastic cup manufacturers but their days are numbered. The Newcy team is made of the founders who occupy various positions within the company and new blood is coming on board. It’s time to set up a new branch in Paris before considering international expansion (where competition is scare too). A fund raising is in progress to meet these goals and offer new products.
The support of Village by CA 35
Newcy’s team benefits from the expertise of the business incubator “Village by CA“: the incubator of French Bank Crédit Agricole. Newcy Founder Caroline Bettan is all smiles when it comes to raising the subject of Village by CA. She praises the dynamic feel of the place, the huge professionnal network and the mutual assistance provided by the startups teams. It helps not feeling isolated. Besides the Village by CA 35 is equiped with the Newcy cup collector so they can get firsthand feedback by co-startupers.
Startup founders usually feel competition is good to confirm their idea is right. Newcy goes the other way by breaking new grounds in a domain where the need is not here yet except for businesses that are already Gaia-conscious. True daring spirit from the Newcy team who eagerly quotes Sheryl Sandberg’s “what would you do if you weren’t scared”. Feeling ready to make the planet great again?