The Local Cafe that could

I have recently been conducting a mental survey of my local cafes that offer a discount for reusable coffee cups. My interest in this cause came off the back of the popular ABC series, War on Waste, where a whole episode was dedicated to Melbourne’s take-away coffee addiction.

In conclusion, the show sent a simple message to cafes to help customers think wisely before opting for single use disposable coffee cups, that is, offer a small discount ($.20 – $1.00) to customers who supply any variety of reusable cup. The benefits are endless but let’s highlight a couple:

  • less waste to landfill & incorrect disposal of plastic/paper combo diminished – the environment wins; and
  • café reducing their overheads and need for storage of disposable cups

I am writing this letter because Bayside cafes seem to have a problem recognising the environmental destruction caused by take-away cups, the manufacture and the litter. For the most part, my local cafes have made no effort to challenge their customers to consider their contribution to our appalling waste management record.

One café in Beaumaris told me that they didn’t provide a discount because their disposal coffee cups cost too much money. I told them I didn’t want to use their expensive cups at which point they said, “but we still have to pay for them.” The irony was completely lost on the waiter. Another café in Sandringham mentioned that they were going to offer a discount when they started selling keep cups, I couldn’t see the correlation. A small recognition or appreciation for putting the environment first would go a long way.

I am now opting to buy my daily coffee further afield albeit still in Bayside. There are 2 spots that have shown environmental stewardship in this regard, they are AM:PM on Highett Rd, (Highett) which offer a .50c discount and Public Grind. Let’s celebrate hospitality that encourages awareness of waste and make a coffee that tastes good and feels good too.

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