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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107 Responses to Take up the green coffee cup or face ban, cafes warned
Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 11:41 am 14 Dec 19

So the govt spent a heap of our money on a thing we don’t want, and now they want to force these horrible-colour things in us. (White cups would be nicer to drink from.)

    thehutch thehutch 5:09 pm 14 Dec 19

    Why do you say “we”?

    hgws hgws 6:07 pm 14 Dec 19

    1) It’s not just the ACT government but a heap of councils in NSW putting in money towards these cups, although I think most of the money comes from people who forget to return their cups after 30 days
    2) If you really want to drink from a white cup, you can stay at the cafe and drink from a china cup, or bring your own white cup!

Daniel Howell Daniel Howell 8:05 pm 14 Dec 19

Hahaha only Canberra

Darron Marks Darron Marks 8:11 pm 14 Dec 19

Ok sure if you wish to choose this option and many people I think will.

But Shane also said that the paper cups are recyclable here in the ACT so if they are recyclable then what is the problem ?

    Trudi Brooker Trudi Brooker 8:14 pm 14 Dec 19

    Darron Marks reusable is much better than recyclable.

    Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 8:21 pm 14 Dec 19

    Trudi Brooker the reusable are made of plastic, how is that good for the environment in the long term

    Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 8:31 pm 14 Dec 19

    Jesse Mahoney and they start degrading and introducing micro plastics into your body, yeah no thanks

    Tim Kavanagh Tim Kavanagh 8:38 pm 14 Dec 19

    Trudi, reusable isn’t so good when the cups aren’t washed properly and make the next customer sick. And there will be cost to wash, dry and reuse

    Tim Kavanagh Tim Kavanagh 9:43 pm 14 Dec 19

    Jesse, does that include the many mobile establishments that sell “just coffee”?

Ashleigh Maree Turner Ashleigh Maree Turner 8:27 pm 14 Dec 19

The reusable cups are still 👏 plastic 👏 🤦‍♀️

Trish Lingard-Wyss Trish Lingard-Wyss 8:41 pm 14 Dec 19

As long as coffee shops take any cup. Not just the cup purchased from their store

    Leigh Brady Leigh Brady 8:47 pm 14 Dec 19

    that’s not how it works... you sign up to a specific system and their cups.

    Guy Manton Guy Manton 9:43 pm 14 Dec 19

    Colette Robinson they arnt stopping the use of your own cup. Just disposable cups. So I usually carry a keep cup, but last week I didn't have one on me so I grabbed one of these instead.

    Whinnie Connors Whinnie Connors 7:20 am 15 Dec 19

    Also it worth mentioning that you don't "purchase" green caffeine cups, you use an app and they're free to borrow. You're only charged if you don't return the cup within 30 days, so it's perfect for the days you might forget your own keep cup 😊

    Leo Menssen Leo Menssen 9:01 am 15 Dec 19

    I drink my coffee in the cafe.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 5:54 pm 16 Dec 19

    Whinnie Connors they still want your credit/debit card details first though.

    Whinnie Connors Whinnie Connors 8:46 am 18 Dec 19

    Jane Kim yup, so people have to return the cups and they don't lose them to moulder in people's cupboards, which would defeat the purpose. If you don't return your cup within 30 days you'll be charged a whole $13, which is honestly pretty cheap for a keep cup.

Anna Kay Anna Kay 8:41 pm 14 Dec 19

They will make a fortune selling green cups because I garrantee I'll forget mine every time

    Guy Manton Guy Manton 9:42 pm 14 Dec 19

    Anna Kay you only pay for it if your don't return it within 30 days.

    Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 9:26 am 15 Dec 19

    Guy Manton and how do they keep a check on the time you have had the cup?

    Anna Kay Anna Kay 9:40 am 15 Dec 19

    Probably have to fill out a form lol

    Guy Manton Guy Manton 1:40 pm 15 Dec 19

    Trevor Watson there's an app you use to scan a barcode at participating shops. You select whether you want to take a cup, return a cup or swap and go. It also shows you how many cups you have checked out.

    Matt Duncan Matt Duncan 8:21 pm 17 Dec 19

    And then dump them all in the creek?

Gerard Dwyer Gerard Dwyer 8:50 pm 14 Dec 19

Cool, I carry mine already. If I forget, I go without coffee. Simples.

George Tsotsos George Tsotsos 8:53 pm 14 Dec 19

I'll just keep using my IV drip thanks 🤗

Xtiney Beany Xtiney Beany 9:13 pm 14 Dec 19

Victoria Gardner so can’t I bring my own reusable cup?

    Victoria Gardner Victoria Gardner 3:50 pm 15 Dec 19

    So if you forget your keep cup you can borrow one for a few and return it next time

Andrea Lloyd Andrea Lloyd 9:25 pm 14 Dec 19

So impractical! What are they thinking? Another silly Greens idea! 😏🙄😖

    Guy Manton Guy Manton 9:36 pm 14 Dec 19

    Andrea Lloyd it's actually pretty handy. I normally use a keep cup. Last week I forgot mine, so I signed up and used one of these instead at no cost and did a swap and go at the local with it today.

James Leon James Leon 9:41 pm 14 Dec 19

and we become a further laughing stock and joke of the nation. Our hospital is on the front page of the paper every day, our roads in Gungahlin especially need upgrading, but that's okay, because we have light rail (one route) rainbow number plates, a rainbow roundabout and now government subsidised keep cups... good to see where my rates money goes!!

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 10:38 pm 14 Dec 19

    Your rates are funding the best-funded per capita healthcare system in Australia. Funding isn't the issue with our Hospitals. This cup thing isn't even government subsidised or costing us ratepayers money.

    Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 3:15 pm 15 Dec 19

    Justin Watson anything Shane Rattenbury involves us in ends up costing us. This whole idea has to make money for someone, if there was no money in it the project would not even be a glint in someone's eye. Nothing is free and the fact that the major drive through coffee suppliers ie HJs and Maccas don't have to comply stinks. If we are going to have this sort of Coffee socialism then it has to apply to every coffee outlet not just a select few.

Ray Ez Ray Ez 9:58 pm 14 Dec 19

So communist it isn’t funny.

Steve Jones Steve Jones 10:35 pm 14 Dec 19

If the current paper cups are put in the correct bins they get recycled.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 8:43 pm 16 Dec 19

    Really! Do you have the statistics on the percentage of paper/plastic cups being recycled? Because what I have read indicates very few are being recycled. Please show me that what I have read is wrong.

    Steve Jones Steve Jones 8:20 am 17 Dec 19

    Julie Macklin it’s not that to find a comingle bin on the street and put your cup and lid in one.

Kate Carey Kate Carey 10:37 pm 14 Dec 19

Should have gone with #huskeeswap

Giulia Jones Giulia Jones 11:01 pm 14 Dec 19

Typical Marxist bullies - do what we want or we will make your lives tough...

    Damien Kell Damien Kell 11:10 pm 14 Dec 19

    Giulia Jones life is so tough when you have to use a different cup for your coffee 😭

    Giulia Jones Giulia Jones 11:32 pm 14 Dec 19

    Damien Kell it’s about how people trying to run small businesses are treated. It’s the same as the mr fluffy owners who won’t move out, now they will have their homes compulsorily bought, I fundamentally disagree with the disrespectful government knows best approach which undermines the individual’s sovereignty. Sure many businesses, can, will and should take up this scheme, but it’s the thuggish threats I really disagree with.

    Damien Kell Damien Kell 12:18 am 15 Dec 19

    Giulia Jones what a load of rubbish! The obsession Australians have with coffee is ridiculous. A billion single use cups being tossed every year is disgraceful. To then try and compare getting people to use reusable cups for their coffee with the compulsory acquisition of properties, wtf. I totally support a scheme to get rid of single use cups but I would also support a scheme to ban all coffee 😱🤣

    Giulia Jones Giulia Jones 6:29 am 15 Dec 19

    Damien Kell ok well I guess that explains why we differ!

    Martin Ross Martin Ross 7:51 am 15 Dec 19

    Giulia this absolute garbage that the gov carry on with is one of the smaller reasons I’m getting out of Canberra next weekend. I’ve had enough of them!! Not waiting til next year

    Anna Roberts Anna Roberts 4:58 pm 19 Dec 19

    That is over the top, and to equate it with Fluffies that the Libs knew about and did nothing way back is just plain stupid.

Mark Spencer Mark Spencer 11:29 pm 14 Dec 19

Green Caffeen must be laughing all the way to the bank!

If I start a business and call it "Green ..." will the government force my service on people too?

John Edwards John Edwards 6:59 am 15 Dec 19

SO, the ACT Assembly can dictate what type of coffee cup we can get our coffee in but seem so unable to tackle the harder issues ??? Increased rates and charges but less services just for starters. What exactly will they ban and how will such a ban be enforced ???? - another team of secret inspectors ordering coffee with a ratepayers provided credit card !!!!!!

Ray Young Ray Young 7:21 am 15 Dec 19

I'll take it up... if it comes in the right size... Large... 12oz. If not - sorry, FAIL!!!

Ray Whiteman Ray Whiteman 7:40 am 15 Dec 19

Someone is going to make a lot of money

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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