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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Bicester’s re-universe helps Isle of Man eliminate single-use cups

The Business Magazine article image for: Bicester’s re-universe helps Isle of Man eliminate single-use cups
From left - Kirree Gooberman from the Department for Enterprise, with Steve Clarke, Rachel Warren and Tony McGurk of re-universe
19 June 2024
From left - Kirree Gooberman from the Department for Enterprise, with Steve Clarke, Rachel Warren and Tony McGurk of re-universe

Bicester tech company re-universe has been named winner of the CleanTech Isle of Man Innovation Challenge 2024.

The accolade recognises the success of a project to make the Island the first nation to eliminate single-use cups by transitioning entirely to reusable cups.

re-universe’s digital platform ensures that a deposit or penalty hold is activated at the point of purchase, to be refunded or released at the point of return.

The rigorous six-month competition saw the Bicester business stand out among thirteen finalists from around the globe, who presented their solutions to an audience of 250 attendees last Thursday.

Strong contenders travelled from Denmark, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

The awards were organised by the Department for Enterprise’s executive agencies – Digital Isle of Man, Business Isle of Man, and Finance Isle of Man – with the support of the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority and UNESCO Biosphere.

re-universe says its platform is perfectly suited for a project of this scale, providing comprehensive item-to-item traceability and asset management alongside accurate data and insights.

The scheme requires no app download or registration, making it easy for customers to connect a card to their reusable cup.

Rachel Warren, CEO of re-universe, said: “We were honoured to receive the CleanTech Isle of Man Innovation Award.

“We’re impressed with the Island’s commitment, passion and ‘can-do’ attitude to reduce single-use.

“This award highlights our joint commitment to set new standards in sustainability with a whole nation approach.

“The Isle of Man will serve as a leading example for other communities and nations wanting to do better and switch to reuse.”

Kirree Gooberman, head of business development at the Department for Enterprise, added: “The most powerful tool in sustainability is changing behaviour.

“re-universe exemplifies this by identifying a real problem and providing a practical solution to enable change.

“We’re delighted re-universe won the CleanTech award and are excited to see the possibilities of what we can achieve working for our Island.”

The win builds on re-universe’s successful project at Blenheim Palace, another UNESCO World Heritage site, where its permanent reusable cup initiative is achieving high return rates and strong engagement.

The team hope their success on the Isle of Man can serve as a model for other nations looking to reduce waste and foster reuse practices.


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Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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