muuse toronto

Toronto just became the first city outside Asia where you can rent your coffee cup

Toronto is among the first cities to get a rentable coffee cup program that reuses cups in much the same way you'd use disposable ones and Zero waste grocery store and cafe bare marketsays the program is already solving issues they've had with their own reusable cup system.

According to operations manager Ryan O'Shaughnessy, people would borrow mugs and not return them, or return them somewhere else, meaning bare market would have to order more cups, counter to their low waste mission.

"With this issue of cups being in short supply, and disposables not being an option, Muuse just made a lot of sense," O'Shaughnessy tells blogTO.

Muuse is an app that partners with cafes to provide reusable cups to customers. The cups (which also happen to look relatively stylish) are equipped with QR codes that can be scanned to borrow cups and then return them to either cafe partners or designated return bins.

The program started in Bali and Singapore, and has now expanded to Jakarta, Hong Kong and launched in Toronto on Feb. 9, 2021. The name "Muuse" is a short form of sorts of "multi-use."

Currently nine locations are taking part in the Muuse program in Toronto: Pomarosa, Poured, bare market, Lazy Daisy's, Extra Butter, Full of Beans, Golden Gecko, Unboxed Market, and Birds and Beans. More are on the way.

Cups are washed and handled in accordance with Food Premise regulations and Toronto Public Health's guidelines, and Muuse works with Toronto Public Health to understand what additional precautions should be in place during the pandemic. 

Scott Morrison, with Muuse's partner development department, tells blogTO that Toronto was chosen as a city for operating Muuse because "Canadians are motivated to take action on climate change and pollution."

Eighty-five per cent of Canadians are motivated to avoid single-use plastic, 87 per cent have concerns about the environmental impact of single-use plastics and Canada now considers plastic toxic.

Most coffee cups are composed of paper as well as a polyethylene layer (the most common type of plastic) and a plastic lid.

"We launched with a member hub strategy that is creating two areas in the city that we wanted to begin to populate with cafes," Morrison tells blogTO

"This would give our members more value as more locations would be in their immediate neighbourhood."

You can do a 30-day free trial of the Muuse program, and from there you can sign up for a membership package for $5 a month or $45 a year ($3.75 per month). All you have to do to grab your Muuse cup at the cafe is ask your barista.

It's a small price to pay when you think of the positive impact a reusable coffee cup system could have. And who wants some crappy white cup coated in wax when you could have one of these cool, high-quality travel mugs anyway?

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