30 October 2019

Cafes encouraged to sign up for Canberra's new reusable coffee cup scheme

| Lachlan Roberts
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Shane Rattenbury, and the owners of Elemental cafe and Green Caffeen

Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury, Elemental’s co-owners Bianca Pavlic and Julian Fresi alongside Green Caffeen co-founders Martin Brooks and Damien Clarke. Photos: Region Media.

Cafes are being encouraged to go green and sign up to Canberra’s new reusable coffee cup scheme that’s set to roll out across the nation’s capital before the end of the year.

The new scheme, which will be delivered by Green Caffeen, is a swap-and-go system that allows coffee drinkers to use a reusable cup, bring the used cup back to any participating cafes within 30 days, and walk out with coffee in a clean green cup.

Twenty Canberra cafes are already taking part in the free scheme but another 80 cafes are expected to join before Christmas. Braddon cafe Elemental is already serving its coffee in green cups, saving over 300 single-use coffee cups from landfill.

“Seventy per cent of the coffee we serve goes away in takeaway cups, which is around 150 coffee cups a day, so we wanted to cut down on that,” co-owner Julian Fresi said. “Now we are serving around 20 to 30 green cups of coffee a day so it’s been slowly picking up.

“We have even been offering a 50-cent discount on coffees in the green cups as an incentive. Our customers love that it’s free to sign up and they don’t even have to wash their cup before returning it.”

The swap-and-go scheme is now in effect in over 350 cafes across the nation, and Green Caffeen co-founders Damien Clarke and Martin Brooks said it is growing by the day.

“All you have to do is download an app, scan a cup in and scan a cup out at any participating cafe,” Damien said. “It is just like a library book, is probably the best analogy that we can think of. The best thing is that there is always a clean reusable coffee cup available to drink out of.

“If you do the right thing, it will always be free to you and accessible to you. We just want to encourage people to be green and eliminate single-use plastics.”

Elemental co-owner Bianca Pavlic

Elemental Cafe offers a 50-cent discount on coffees in the green cups as an incentive for people to join.

Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury said the reusable coffee cup scheme is an easy way to be environmentally friendly while getting your caffeine fix.

“While more Canberrans are doing their bit for the planet by choosing reusable coffee cups, this new scheme will make it easier than ever for Canberrans to choose a reusable option when they forget their reusable cup,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Australia throws out 2.7 million coffee cups every single day, so it is important that we limit our use of single-use cups wherever we can – doing our bit by people and planet. The scheme is really convenient and it’s easy to use so now is the time for cafes to sign up.”

Click here to join Green Caffeen’s scheme.

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Reusable cups are horrible to drink out of though. They have sharp plastic rims. Hot drinks are always awful drunk out of plastic. China is the only vessel that works for a good coffee unless you’re on the road and must use a take-away cup. .

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