Cull of the cups


Major Queenstown tourism player Skyline has ditched single-use cups throughout its entire local operation.

The hilltop attraction has boarded the gondola-ride towards reducing its environmental footprint, and staff estimate the initiative could divert some 160,000 takeaway cups away from landfill each year.

Guests can no longer purchase a single-use cup and either need to bring their own cup or purchase a reusable glass cup for a discounted price of $8.

It’s selling them through its cafe, and those who buy one or bring their own cup get a dollar off a coffee.

The company’s hospitality and development boss Pierre Poyet says: “This initiative is another step in reducing the impact of single-use plastics on our environment, and a way for us to contribute to a more sustainable future,” he says.

“We are constantly exploring ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment and this is definitely one of the big ones.”

An estimated 295 million cups go to landfill in New Zealand each year.

Skyline may also introduce a ‘boomerang’ cup programme in the future, where customers are loaned a cup for a nominal fee, which is reimbursed on return of the cup.

The company hopes to further reduce its use of other plastics in the coming months.

“The next items we are hoping to tackle are our smoothie, sushi and salad containers,” Pierre says.

Skyline Queenstown GM Wayne Rose says the company hopes to inspire other local tourism businesses and cafes to follow suit.