After conducting a pilot program within its Walled Garden in 2022, Blenheim Palace has expanded its reusable cup initiative to encompass the entire premises.

This groundbreaking sustainability and technology programme, which launches later this month, significantly reduces the palace’s annual carbon footprint, equivalent to approximately 30 tonnes of CO2e, which is comparable to the annual emissions of 19 petrol-driven cars. Additionally, it eliminates the disposal of 400,000 single-use coffee cups, a practice that was previously in place.

Blenheim Palace has partnered with Witney-based re-universe and Circular & Co to combine the deposit and tracking technology with a returnable cup designed specifically for them.

The scheme will see visitors invited to ‘go green’ with takeaway hot drinks served in returnable cups, which come with a £2 deposit. Visitors drinking inside will have the alternative of a ceramic cup.


Once visitors are finished with their drink, they simply return the reusable cup to one of the numerous on-site return points. They scan the QR code and their account is refunded; there is the option to transfer their deposit to Blenheim Palace’s charity of the year, Yellow Submarine. The cups are then washed and are ready for a new visitor to use.

David Green, Blenheim’s Head of Innovation said: “The returnable cup scheme will eradicate single-use coffee cups on the Estate by using deposit return technology.

“We believe climate change is the single biggest threat to Blenheim’s long-term survival and we’re committed to doing all we can to reduce and mitigate its impacts and help safeguard this World Heritage Site and its resources for future generations.”

As part of its 10 Goals, Blenheim is committed to addressing the climate emergency by setting the goal to become carbon neutral by 2027, and to sequester over 200,000 tonnes CO2e by 2050.