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War on Waste: Frankies at Forde bans takeaway coffee cups

By Serina Bird Huang (aka Ms Frugal Ears) - 9 July 2017 10

keeper cups A suburban Canberra café has banned takeaway coffee cups as part its commitment to the War on Waste. And its Facebook post about the initiative has gone viral, attracting over one million views.

Forde shops is a sleepy centre within an easy walk of its lake and contain some surprisingly good local eating spots. The northern Gunghalin suburb has a strong environmental commitment mirroring the adjoining Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. The development has taken the initiative to ban domestic cats to help protect wildlife. Now a local business is making news for its commitment to supporting the environment, with Frankies at Forde implementing a ban on takeaway coffee cups from 1 July 2017.

Co-owner and manager Mark Ramsay was motivated by the ABC’s War on Waste program, and the images of masses of cups in landfill. He felt that he should do something in response, so announced a fairly radical decision for Frankies to go takeaway cup free. His 4 May Facebook post has since clocked up over 1 million views, 5000 likes and has been shared 4600 times.

Mark said he had been mindful of making the fairly significant change as easy as possible on its customers. In addition to the Facebook post, signs went up nearly two months before the ban started. There are also pricing incentives to encourage people to do the right thing. Pre ban, a regular take away coffee cost $5. Frankies now sells a coffee in a keep cup for $7.50. “The first coffee is our shout – the customers only pays for the cup itself,” he said of reusable plastic or glass cups that Frankies sells. “After that, take away coffees cost $4.50 so they are now 50c cheaper and over time regulars will recoup their cost.”

Mark said he believed that Frankies is the first café in Canberra to ban takeaway coffee cups. But he doesn’t think it will be the last. “I am sure that others are watching. There are probably five or six other cafes, including in trendy inner city café areas such as Kingston or Braddon that could implement this. But I am proud that the change came from the suburbs.”

Would you order coffee from a shop that didn’t provide a takeaway coffee cup?  Do you think all cafes should ban coffee cups?

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
War on Waste: Frankies at Forde bans takeaway coffee cups
garydlum 8:01 pm 10 Jul 17

It would be interesting to undertake an infection control and infection risk study. I’ve been associated with some people who do not clean their cups adequately and if someone is having warm milk which is a lovely culture medium for bacteria constantly added each day with weekend breaks, there’s good potential for bacterial and fungal growth. I know the milk is frothed with steam, but the temperature drop is quick and the cups people use will effectively create an insulating effect. While the risk is probably low given it’s a product of likelihood and consequence, a risk remains all the same.

MERC600 2:30 pm 10 Jul 17

Thanks for the tip on Frankies.

Any other coffee shops in the vicinity ?

Maya123 1:01 pm 10 Jul 17

Holden Caulfield said :

Maya123 said :

Takeaway cups are a big waste problem. Very few are recycled. I usually drink my coffee in the cafe and won’t accept paper cups. I have walked out of cafes that don’t have ‘real’ cups and gone to another. I have also on many occasions taken my own reusable cup. It’s not hard to do. Good move Frankies at Forde. I think a great PR move too.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-03/takeaway-coffee-cups-piling-up-in-landfill/7136926

In no way meaning to detract from your point about takeaway cups ending up in landfill, it’s at least worth noting that disposable takeaway coffee cups can be recycled in Canberra:
http://www.tccs.act.gov.au/recycling-and-waste/whats-happening/coffee-cups

And a big pat on the back to Frankies as well.

Interestingly, while there is strong public support for initiatives like this (and discounts at cafes for customers who bring their own cups) the actual public take up seems to be quite low.

At least Frankies forces behaviour change on the customer, rather than incentivising by way of a discount (which seems to be ineffective in effecting large scale change).

Perhaps the only downside to a wide scale adoption of Frankies approach could be an oversupply of reusable cups, similar to green fabric grocery bags.

I take a traditional china cup I already own, that is the right size. I have no need to buy a ‘gimmicky’ so called reusable cup. The only advantage I can see to these “reusable cups” is I guess they have lids, if you can’t find the time to sit down in the cafe to drink your coffee. When I worked we never had the opportunity to duck out for a coffee, as there were no cafes nearby. We boiled a kettle and picked up our coffee/tea cup from the line up of cups. We saved a lot of money doing this too; in today’s money maybe about a couple thousand dollars a year.

Holden Caulfield 10:03 am 10 Jul 17

Maya123 said :

Takeaway cups are a big waste problem. Very few are recycled. I usually drink my coffee in the cafe and won’t accept paper cups. I have walked out of cafes that don’t have ‘real’ cups and gone to another. I have also on many occasions taken my own reusable cup. It’s not hard to do. Good move Frankies at Forde. I think a great PR move too.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-03/takeaway-coffee-cups-piling-up-in-landfill/7136926

In no way meaning to detract from your point about takeaway cups ending up in landfill, it’s at least worth noting that disposable takeaway coffee cups can be recycled in Canberra:
http://www.tccs.act.gov.au/recycling-and-waste/whats-happening/coffee-cups

And a big pat on the back to Frankies as well.

Interestingly, while there is strong public support for initiatives like this (and discounts at cafes for customers who bring their own cups) the actual public take up seems to be quite low.

At least Frankies forces behaviour change on the customer, rather than incentivising by way of a discount (which seems to be ineffective in effecting large scale change).

Perhaps the only downside to a wide scale adoption of Frankies approach could be an oversupply of reusable cups, similar to green fabric grocery bags.

Roksteddy 10:18 pm 09 Jul 17

Always use a reusable cup. Have done so for years. Never had an issue (haven’t been to Little Bird)

timesup 5:17 pm 09 Jul 17

Good on Frankies!

Maya123 2:34 pm 09 Jul 17

Madam Cholet said :

It’s disappointing though that not many cafes promote it.

And even if they are willing to fill your own reusable cup, they often hesitate and look at you as if this is a weird request. But, tough, I can handle that 🙂 However, I only go to cafes that don’t have washable cups if going with other people. If it were my choice, I boycott cafes that don’t have washable cups. And I have walked out of cafes when they hold up paper cups and say that’s all they have. I have on a few occasions been with others who think the same way, and we have all turned and walked. I wish more people would be caring enough to do this too, but sadly most people don’t care. Throw it in the bin. Out of sight; out of mind.

Madam Cholet 11:58 am 09 Jul 17

I use a keep cup for my daily takeaway. I go to Double Drummer where they are more than happy to fill. Compare that to Little Bird cafe nearby who outright refuse to do it. It’s disappointing though that not many cafes promote it.

Maya123 11:11 am 09 Jul 17

Takeaway cups are a big waste problem. Very few are recycled. I usually drink my coffee in the cafe and won’t accept paper cups. I have walked out of cafes that don’t have ‘real’ cups and gone to another. I have also on many occasions taken my own reusable cup. It’s not hard to do. Good move Frankies at Forde. I think a great PR move too.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-03/takeaway-coffee-cups-piling-up-in-landfill/7136926

Greg Aldridge 7:54 am 09 Jul 17

This is such a great idea, I’m going to buy takeaway cups to keep in my car.

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