SOUTH FREMANTLE, WA, Australia – Plastic Free July, the global social movement, is launching a new campaign to help coffee lovers and cafes make a difference and help end plastic waste. The UpCup challenge includes a bespoke toolkit for cafes and business owners to help avoid the billions of single-use coffee cups and lids that end up as landfill and litter each year.
Coffee cups are the #1 single-use plastic item used in Australia each year. In the UK it is thought 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups are used each year, in the USA an estimated 50 billion cups are used each year.
“At the end of the day there is not really a ‘good’ disposable cup as single-use cups aren’t readily recyclable and few of the compostable cups end up in composting facilities. Billions of coffee cups end up in landfill instead.” said Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, Founder and Executive Director of Plastic Free July.
A new survey of almost 1,000 people in West Australia revealed only 14% of adult coffee drinkers surveyed always choose to ‘dine in’, leaving 74% of adults consuming take-away coffee.
Interestingly, the answer doesn’t require more BYO cups as 100% of adults who buy coffee from cafes own a reusable cup already. Rather, Plastic Free July says a drive to build new social norms by providing in-store solutions could be the answer. The survey reveals nearly half (41%) of café coffee drinkers forgot their BYO cup, or didn’t bring it because they weren’t planning on buying a takeaway coffee.
“We know the plastic problem is a high concern for Australians and we invite cafes and business owners to take part and together make a difference in ending plastic pollution. The challenge is also a brilliant opportunity to recalibrate your business’ plastic footprint and offer customers an enjoyable ‘plastic-free’ experience with their daily coffee.” said Prince-Ruiz.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and people are returning to work, there is an opportunity to create new habits to tackle the common problem together. The UpCup challenge will encourage people to bring their own cup from home, swap or borrow one from cafés, or take ten minutes and enjoy their favourite cuppa in-store.