Coffee in a disposable takeaway cup generally tastes weirder, creates unnecessary waste and, at our cafes, is 20 cents more expensive than when you order it in a swap or BYO cup.
We offer incentives and multiple options so anyone can have a coffee in a reusable cup. Even if more and more customers are ditching the single-use habit, there is still a significant demand and big chunk of our daily revenue coming from these orders. Especially in times like these, we can't afford not to offer them; or we are just not brave enough.
Something we can do while we enable a habit change, is adopting less harmful products. Our newest single-use cups are manufactured in Australia using unbleached bamboo fibre, bioplastics and water-based inks. This first stage of the product construction has already a lower environmental footprint compared to the traditional paper cups, according to the manufacturer Premier Northpak:
- When farmed using responsible methods, and preserving the native and wild biodiversity, bamboo can be a very efficient crop. It regrows faster and it has a higher yield than production tree forests.
- The unbleached bamboo sheets are manufactured overseas and sent to Australia in containers. When compared to importing cups already shaped, the efficiency and emissions per quantity of material are lower.
- The cups are manufactured (lined, shaped and printed) in Victoria, Australia.
- The lining is composed of bioplastics, replacing the traditional polyethylene polymer. ‘Bioplastics are plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, sawdust, recycled food waste, etc.’.
- The printing inks are water-based inks, free of harmful chemicals.
After their (single) use, these cups will biodegrade and compost when taken to commercial composting facilities; it’s not proven they’ll do so in home-composting systems. Not many councils are offering this service as part of their collection systems. In the areas that Sample serves, City of Sydney is currently running a food scraps recycling trial and Inner West Council doesn’t seem to have anything yet; private facilities like our Precinct 75 may have this option already in place.
But if you put these cups in the general waste bin, the benefits of composting (assuming there is any) won’t materialise because they’ll likely end up in landfill.
In any case, in our opinion, reusing what we have is the way to go. Why not just take some minutes and have your coffee in one of our beautiful ceramic cups (after you sign-in)? Or choose one Returnr or Huskee swap cup when you have to run somewhere else?
The options are endless; our planet resources are not.