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.
Since the decision was implemented on 1 July, Mark said the response to the takeaway cup ban has been ‘exceptional’. While a few people did not know about the significant change, overall ‘the positives have outweighed the negatives’ with most local (and loyal) customers supporting the initiative.
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?