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What’s this? Earn air miles through coffee cups?

November 15, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The prospect of flying to an exotic location or being upgraded, simply by recycling coffee cups, may seem far-fetched, but it has arrived and Qantas has confirmed it.

In an initiative designed to coincide with National Recycling Week (which we are in the middle of, in case you hadn’t noticed), Qantas is encouraging small businesses “to lead the way and help Australia solve the challenge of recycling coffee cups by rewarding them with Qantas Points”.

Qantas Business Rewards is partnering with Simply Cups to give members the opportunity to earn points when they purchase and collect coffee cups to be recycled in Australia’s first dedicated coffee cup recycling facility.

Members of Qantas Business Rewards can earn points and support recycling in three ways:

  • 1 Qantas Point for every 2 Simply Cups branded (or co-branded) coffee cups purchased
  • 1 Qantas Point for any 2 coffee cups collected and recycled (where available) by Simply Cups
  • 1000 Qantas Points for each Simply Cups collection container purchased


Head of Qantas Business Rewards, Eric Jelinek, said the airlines had a network of 175,000 companies within its Qantas Business Rewards program “and as an advocate of recycling and the work that Simply Cups is doing, we are excited to help our members get involved and reward them for doing so as an added incentive.


“This is a fantastic opportunity for Australian small businesses to make a change and take action to help keep coffee cups out of landfill and earn more Qantas Points at the same time.”


Currently there is no recycling facility in Australia that can recycle coffee cups that most Australians are using because the paperboard cups have a plastic lining to prevent leakage.


Simply Cups has fostered a new technology to separate the plastic liner from the paperboard outer cups and will be commissioning a recycling facility early next year.  This will allow each of the materials to be recycled into various recycled paper and plastic goods.


Simply Cups founder and Managing Director Robert Pascoe says educating Australians about the challenge of recycling is just as important as the solution.


“Every day I walk past rubbish bins in shopping centres, train stations and in the street, that are full of coffee cups. I am delighted that soon we will see those valuable resources recaptured and recycled rather than having trees cut down and landfills clogged up.”


Here are some figures on how Qantas Business Rewards members can benefit from partnering with Simply Cups, as issued in a Qantas media statement yesterday:


  • A medium sized café uses on average 150,000 cups each year
  • If these cafes purchased coffee cups through Simply Cups, they could earn more than 75,000 Qantas Points per year – and even more if they purchase a Simply Cups collection container and also collect coffee cups for recycling by Simply Cups
  • As part of the existing Qantas Business Rewards scheme, these 75,000 points could be used as employee rewards like vouchers or experiences through the Qantas Store or an Economy return Classic Flight Reward from Sydney to Honolulu (plus taxes, fees and carrier charges). Businesses can also use the points to buy supplies for the office like a toaster, printer or TV through the Qantas Store and reduce their costs.
  • Corporate offices can earn similar rewards by purchasing recycling tubes and collecting cups in office environments.



Edited by Peter Needham



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