When it comes to their coffee, more customers are seeking out cafes which provide reusable takeaway cups which are better for the environment.
Two Naracoorte businesses, Morris Bakery and Sweet Espresso, both provide reusable cups for their regulars and new customers.
“We only really started a month ago,” Morris Bakery manager Angela Grosvenor said.
“It took a while because we wanted to find a cup that was just right. Most reusable cups are petroleum-based, but ours are plant-based.”
Morris Bakery’s cups are BYO cups, which are dishwasher safe, biodegradable, and BPA free. They are sturdy and safe, with the lid being easy to put in place, and being able to withstand boiling temperatures.
The idea for takeaway keep cups was sparked by the ABC series War on Waste. It got Ms Grosvenor thinking about what the business could be doing to be more environmentally friendly.
“We’re also looking into changing our paper cups into bamboo cups, and investing in biodegradable food packaging.”
Morris Bakery customers have reacted positively to the change, and due to this demand Morris Bakery are looking into providing a larger BYO cup size.
“It’s about impact," Ms Grosvenor said. “As well as less pollution there’s less mining for petroleum – it’s a win-win for the environment.”
Morris Bakery BYO cups are $8 each or $10 with a coffee, and customers get a 50c discount every time they bring in their cup.
Carla Brown, proprietor of Sweet Espresso the food store, chose to continue stocking reusable cups at the time of purchasing the business, meaning the store has offered this alternative for over six years.
For Mrs Brown, stocking reusable takeaway cups is not only environmentally responsible, but is also good business practice.
““We’ve seen an increase in demand, more rapidly than in the past," Ms Brown said of the cups.
“Customers expect it of us now.”
Many customers are becoming more informed about plastic waste, and the fact that single-use takeaway cups don’t break down.
In a report released by the UN for World Environment Day (June 5), Exploring the potential for adopting alternative materials to reduce marine plastic litter (2018) it found that all the waste from coffee cups and plastic bags would extend to 1.47 million kilometres, aka a return trip to the moon more than thrice over.
Coffee cups, plastic straws, plastic bags, and single-use bottles currently outweigh the population by 400 percent.
Sweet Espresso stock KeepCup, a brand that was born after a Melbourne cafe owner identified the need for a barista standard reusable cup.
This means for the customer that they can enjoy the same flavor profile (correct volume of espresso to milk ratio) in a KeepCup that they would of a coffee served in store.
KeepCup are made from tempered soda lime glass are BPA free, dishwasher safe and are fully recyclable at the end of their life span.
KeepCups can be purchased in small (eight ounce) or medium (twelve ounce) and retail from $24.
Each time a customer presents any brand of reusable cup they’re eligible for a 30c discount. Many customers have 2-3 cups that they rotate between use and staff are more than happy to answer any questions they may have about keeping their cups sanitary.
For Ms Brown, the trend of using takeaway cups is not an isolated phenomenon, but an encouraging sign that being informed about the environment is the new normal.
“More thought by consumers means more demand for new products,” she said.
“It’s always the small things day by day that have the biggest impact long-term.”