Waste warriors

Waste warriors - KeepCupGreens & Co take-away coffees are a steal for just $2, but only for customers who bring a reusable cup. The café wanted to send a clear signal to customers that they they’re committed to tackling waste.

“We’re seeing more reusable cups coming through the door all the time. It’s really taking off” states co-owner Stuart Lofthouse.

Customers who carry a reusable cup will always be greeted with a smile and a discount. Australians throw away three billion coffee cups each year and they are the second most littered item. Coffee cups are unsuitable for recycling because they are lined with a thin plastic coating which cannot be separated from the paper during conventional recycling; consequently 90 percent end up in landfill.

Straws are also placed out of sight and out of mind.

“While our customers can, of course, easily access a straw we’ve tucked them away a little bit, so you think twice before taking one. We also serve most of our drinks without a straw unless you’ve specifically asked for one” explains co-owner Deb Saunders.

With this simple action, cafes can reduce the use of single use plastic. Many customers will be happy to go without a straw, so switching to straws on request is a win for the café, customers and environment. Single use plastic is a major environmental issue. Plastics are comprised of ten percent oil, which means a valuable non-renewable resource has been used to create a product that will be used for a few minutes and then discarded. After only a few minutes of use, a plastic straw will remain in the environment for thousands of years.