Conscious coffee: East Gippsland’s project to combat takeaway beverage waste
The caffeine addicts, tea lovers and hot chocolate enthusiasts of Orbost and Paynesville, East Gippsland, can now sip consciously thanks to a new project set up to combat our waste culture and help the environment.
East Gippsland Shire Council received $7095 from Sustainability Victoria’s Litter Innovation Fund to establish a Smart Takeaway Coffee project.
The project aims to reduce the number of disposable hot beverage cups (which are non-recyclable) used by participating businesses by changing customer behaviour.
The Smart Takeaway Coffee project promotes the use of reusable cups and raises awareness of the collective impact of our waste.
Participating cafés have receive a number of high-quality glass Keep Cups to distribute to their regular customers, as well as rewards cards which will be stamped every time the reusable cup is presented.
Once the stamp card is all full, the card holder receives a reward of the businesses choosing – typically either a free or discounted coffee, or a biscuit or scone.
The Council’s director of operations, Chris Waites, says disposable hot beverage cups have been identified as the second-highest contributor to litter waste in Australia.
“While the cups appear to be made from only paper, most contain a layer of plastic on the inside to make them waterproof. This prevents them from being recycled or breaking down easily. A lot of people put takeaway coffee cups in the recycling, but only the lid is recyclable,” Waites says.
“Either the cups will end up in landfill where they will remain for hundreds of years, or they end up in the environment where they become a major pollution hazard.”
The cafés participating in and supporting this project are: Alma’s Restaurant and Café, The Fig Café and Waterview Bakery of Paynesville.
In Orbost, Two Little Owls Café, CaféOne2Five, Orbost Bakery on the Snowy, Cozy Café, Morganics and The Wishing Tree Café will be taking part.
The project is running for six months, beginning in March and finishing in August 2017.