Take up the green coffee cup or face ban, cafes warned

Ian Bushnell 15 December 2019 107

Green Caffeen’s Damien Clarke; Recycling and Waste Reduction Minister Chris Steel and Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury, both with the specially designed green CBR cups; Gather coffee shop owner William Fisher; and Martin Brooks from Green Caffeen. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra coffee shops have been put on notice: back the new reusable cup scheme launched on Wednesday or face a ban on plastic-lined, single-use cups next year.

Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction Chris Steel threw down the challenge at Gather in Braddon, saying the government has held off taking a tougher approach to see if the free Green Cafeen ‘swap-and-go’ model takes hold.

More than 70 Canberra cafes have signed up to the scheme started by Damien Clarke and Martin Brooks, which allows customers to order their coffee in a reusable cup that can be returned to any participating cafe.

“We know we need to stop single-use coffee cups going into our waste stream and contaminating it, particularly with the COAG ban on exporting cardboard and paper coming up [at end of 2020],” Mr Steel said.

“The more cafes involved the easier it will be for people to do the right thing but we’re not ruling out a ban if cafes don’t sign up.”

The Government had partnered with Green Cafeen and bought thousands of specially CBR-branded cups made from recycled plastic to be used as part of the swap and go scheme.

“We need to make the environmental solution as easy as possible and that’s what the ‘swap and go’ system offers,” Mr Steel said.

The figures are as mind-boggling as some of the espressos around town: Australia goes through 50,000 cups of coffee every half hour and an estimated one billion disposable coffee cups every year.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said the goal was for every cafe in Canberra to be a part of what was a convenient and easy-to-use scheme.

“Register on the Green Caffeen app, see if your local cafe is part of the scheme and order your next coffee in a reusable cup. The cafes will even take care of the washing up before the cups go back into rotation,” he said.

He said there was no excuse for a cafe not joining the scheme.

Gather owner William Fisher already offers a keep-cup discount and uses reusable glass bottles and recycled packaging so joining Green Cafeen was a no-brainer.

“We already think in a similar way to these guys and they’ve made it even easier,” he said. “We signed up on the internet as soon as we heard about. We think it will go well and we’ll definitely be encouraging it.”


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98 Responses to Take up the green coffee cup or face ban, cafes warned
Rina Ora Zikner Rina Ora Zikner 5:52 pm 19 Dec 19

try chemical free cups www.crumple.com.au

Alastair McKenzie Alastair McKenzie 11:37 pm 18 Dec 19

Hectoring moralism.

Bill Orr Bill Orr 8:29 pm 17 Dec 19

I love it. I’ve been using the scheme and it’s great.

Canberra always produces critics. Seriously we carry on about ‘whinging Poms’: Australians are world champions.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:21 pm 15 Dec 19

A local cafe near me has bought a heap of secondhand china cups and locals can get a takeaway coffee in them and then bring them back and place in a basket, from where they will be washed and reused. Great idea.

    Paul Waters Paul Waters 2:37 pm 16 Dec 19

    yuck that's not very hygienic!

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 2:49 pm 16 Dec 19

    Paul Waters How is a dishwashed cup unhygienic, or are you a germ phobic?

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 5:51 pm 16 Dec 19

    Julie Macklin what a great idea. When I still worked we used to take our own coffee mugs (no “keep cups” then) to the cafe downstairs and get our coffee in them.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 5:52 pm 16 Dec 19

    Paul Waters it’s no different from eating or drinking in a cafe or restaurant. They wash and reuse their crockery and cutlery all the time.

Karen Feng Karen Feng 8:34 pm 15 Dec 19

If I suddenly need coffee I'm not going to have a reusable cup. I found my bag is always full.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:17 pm 15 Dec 19

    What!! Then tough. Get your act together.

    Karen Feng Karen Feng 10:24 pm 15 Dec 19

    Julie Macklin spelling mistake. Autocorrect "bag" to "back". My bag is always full. Can't fit cup. Tried it. But need for coffee can occur at anytime.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 5:58 pm 16 Dec 19

    Karen Feng if you don’t have a cup on you, take a moment to relax and drink it at the cafe.

    Karen Feng Karen Feng 6:35 pm 16 Dec 19

    Jane Kim that's a good point. But what if that morning I have a team meeting and is running late.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 6:35 pm 16 Dec 19

    Jane Kim I also sit and drink the coffee in a china or glass cup.

    Maria Guadalupe Gil Barba Maria Guadalupe Gil Barba 12:45 pm 17 Dec 19

    Sounds like a first world problem 😱

Alex Charalambous Alex Charalambous 7:39 pm 15 Dec 19

Who runs the ACT? Mr Barr or the greens? How much will they cost small businesses?

    Junia James Junia James 7:03 pm 16 Dec 19

    Alex Charalambous the greens Alex. It will cost a lot.

Bradley Bell Bradley Bell 6:14 pm 15 Dec 19

Buy a flask and take your own coffee, stuff the BS

Michael Carlson Michael Carlson 5:06 pm 15 Dec 19

The government no longer works for the people !!

I think people might need to investigate any recent purchases of shares from this new green cup company sound like there is room for people to make some money out of this when every cafe in the territory is made to purchase cups from a company that the government has partnered with. Who will really benefit from this land fill, business or share holders

    Russell Nankervis Russell Nankervis 5:30 pm 15 Dec 19

    Reducing waste is a policy that supports the people. Someone benefits from the cups being single use more than a cup being reused multiple times

    Michael Carlson Michael Carlson 8:16 pm 15 Dec 19

    Your missing the bigger picture today the government says save the world use our green cups or be banned from operating your business What's next from the government ? To prove your not a terrorist put this micro chip in your arm, We already have 70 people with chips if you don't do what we tell you don't leave the house to go to work !!

    The government is way out of line and slowy slicing away people's freedoms away starting with bullying the small stuff first.

Joe Marando Joe Marando 2:00 pm 15 Dec 19

Scott Wells Dominique Wells Only in Canberra!

Hamish Sinclair Hamish Sinclair 12:53 pm 15 Dec 19

reallly? all the big problems and this is what the govt focuses on? fix the health system, fix the education system , fix the planning DA's then worry about cafe cups ffs!

Mirabai Rose Mirabai Rose 10:22 am 15 Dec 19

Excellent initiative! People can also take their own. Use crockery etc. Reducing waste is everyones business

    Leigh Beshara Leigh Beshara 3:04 pm 16 Dec 19

    I wouldn't visit a shop where u can take ur own. U have no idea where that other cup has been, what biological contaminants are on it. You are introducing huge risk here. Also, these 'recycled' cups will leach all sorts of toxins. I won't be signing up to this or using any cafes that take random cups from customers.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 5:55 pm 16 Dec 19

    Leigh Beshara really? We had a coffee shop near where I worked over 10 years ago where we took our own mugs to and they filled them.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 9:41 pm 16 Dec 19

    Leigh Beshara our son works in a building with a coffee shop does this still.

    Leigh Beshara Leigh Beshara 11:41 pm 16 Dec 19

    Jane Kim check out this little waste management gem.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=754510508391486&id=426620157847191

Will Lancaster Sr. Will Lancaster Sr. 10:19 am 15 Dec 19

they should all shut down. close up. the public will have all this sorted for them. Karen won't go without her mocha frap grande for very long.

Hannah Gardiner Hannah Gardiner 10:08 am 15 Dec 19

Fish Zafar Hazel Tate Sam Hampshaw Jake Bentley this sounds fun for you guys

Margaret Dzieciol Margaret Dzieciol 9:51 am 15 Dec 19

Reusable cups are plastic. I have a specially purposed glass jar with a lid , and if forgot, drink in coffee shop.

Plastics , even bpa free emit toxins into contents, especially hot milky beverages.

    Louise Kammholz Louise Kammholz 12:45 pm 15 Dec 19

    Margaret Dzieciol I *had* a glass one. I say had because my husband smashed it last night by accidentally knocking it off the bench so now I have to get another one.

    Will Fisher Will Fisher 4:05 pm 15 Dec 19

    There is plastic lining in the inside of most disposable coffee cups also

    Leigh Beshara Leigh Beshara 3:00 pm 16 Dec 19

    Will Fisher the plastic doesn't breakdown as much as constantly used and washed plastic. I will never go a shop using these cups. A fresh one for me everytime thanks.

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 9:28 am 15 Dec 19

And Maccas drive through?

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 9:24 am 15 Dec 19

So who will be making money out of this? I just ask out of curiosity and what is the bottom line to the coffee retailers. Disposable cups are about 1cent each what are these going to cost because that's the deciding factor as to whether this is a sucess or a failure.

    Will Fisher Will Fisher 4:04 pm 15 Dec 19

    They are far more than 1c each, and they are polluting the world these cups are free and reusable for cafe’s and customers, no brainer.

    Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 4:07 pm 15 Dec 19

    Will Fisher not if you buy in bulk. The green cups are not free... Someone has to pay for them initially and then they have to be washed snd sterilised for the next user. Unless you are going to do all the work as a volunteer, which I doubt.

    Will Fisher Will Fisher 9:04 am 17 Dec 19

    Trevor Watson You would have to buy well upwards of 100000 to get cups at 1c & then storage and delivery is an issue, nobody i know is receiving them even close to 1c each and I am a cafe owner.

    Washing & sterilising a load of cups through a commercial dishwasher once per day and can easily do 25 cups in 1 load in 1 min, is not better than thousands of cups getting handled and transported their way to landfill?

    The green cups are also made from recycled Australian plastics..

    Will Fisher Will Fisher 9:06 am 17 Dec 19

    Trevor Watson the green cups are provided to the cafe’s and customers for free.

    Customers are charged $13 by the app only if they don’t return or swap them within 30 days.

    Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 9:09 am 17 Dec 19

    Will Fisher Well go for it. But as a Cafe owner its going to somehow cost you. So how many cups do you sell per day and how do you feel about the drive throughs who won't have to adopt this scheme? It seems that only Civic and surrounds are going to face punative action if they dont comply..

    Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 12:49 pm 17 Dec 19

    Will Fisher so ok I have to have an app on my phone to buy a coffee? Seriously the more this scheme is exposed the more complex it gets. I think I will just take my own Contigo mug with me and use that or will I be refused service?

David Katz David Katz 9:10 am 15 Dec 19

Scotty Bateup you'll be happy with this

Warwick Alsop Warwick Alsop 8:59 am 15 Dec 19

.... And people are still confused as to why Boris Johnson just won in a landslide.....

CA Slattery CA Slattery 8:55 am 15 Dec 19

Another stupid greens lead plan!!!

Muppets!!!

    Dave R. Holland Dave R. Holland 3:03 pm 15 Dec 19

    CA Slattery if they were serious they would not buy coffee in the first place. Plenty of carbon emissions created to give these greenie hypocrites their coffee.

Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 7:51 am 15 Dec 19

Wasn’t this the same government that had the slogan no waste by 2010? How did that turn out?

    Stephen Mee Stephen Mee 2:30 pm 16 Dec 19

    Richard Willcoxson If I come from interstate, my coffee price increases because I have to buy a reusable cup.

    They tried it in Adelaide, but business rejected on health grounds as cups were not cleansed before presenting. OHS + health issues identified.

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