King County Bring Your Own Cup Campaign

King County Solid Waste Division (SWD) has a goal to achieve Zero Waste of Resources by 2030, with a priority focus on waste prevention and reuse. Building on the efforts of the Reuse Seattle and Eastside Bring Your Own Cup (BYOC) campaigns, Cascadia led the development of a BYOC campaign in unincorporated King County.

Together with our partners at Blue Daisi Consulting and the Seattle Good Business Network, we sought out independently-owned cafes and coffee shops across unincorporated King County to encourage them to invite their customers to reduce waste by bringing their own cup. We started with pre-screening interviews to gauge their interest in reuse, then followed up with in-person site visits, phone calls, and emails to gather additional information and determine the effectiveness of our campaign materials.

34 businesses responded to our engagement efforts—and we learned that while all of these businesses allow customers to bring their own cups, it wasn’t common practice for customers to do so, regardless of incentives provided by the business.

Businesses cited public health and safety concerns, inability to determine cup size, lack of customer knowledge about BYOC options, and customer push-back as barriers to promoting BYOC in their shops.

Creating visually appealing campaign graphics was a key focus of this campaign. Featuring the same #ChooseReuse hashtag and circular decal shape helped maintain branding consistency with other reuse campaigns in the region. We worked closely with the BYO steering committee to finalize designs—incorporating feedback along the way. Other materials included an informational brochure, which served as a resource to help businesses answer frequently asked questions about BYOC and the Washington State Food Code.

By the end of the outreach, sixteen of the businesses had posted a campaign decal—and most had a positive reaction to the campaign. The relationships we fostered helped us gain a deeper understanding of the regional barriers and challenges that exist for businesses around reuse and customers bringing their own cup.

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