Coffee drinkers in Brisbane are leading the way nationally in reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfill, according to a sustainability organisation.
Responsible Cafes said 229 Brisbane City cafes have registered with the not-for-profit, which encourages businesses to offer incentives and discounts to customers who bring their own reusable cups.
The City of Sydney had the second highest proportion of cafes, with 151 registered businesses, and Melbourne City was third with 109.
Responsible Cafes operations manager Rachel Draper said the reusable cup movement gained momentum after the group was featured on the ABC’s War on Waste documentary series last year.
“The number of cafes involved across Australia jumped from about 400 before the program aired to about 3750 this year,” she said.
“We did a survey for the last season of ABC’s War on Waste and we found on average each cafe was using 35 to 36 reusable cups per day. So based on the number of cafes we’ve signed up, that equates to about 46 million cups per year that aren’t going into landfill nationally.
“We also saw a 117 per cent increase in reusable coffee cup use based on businesses registered with us after the show aired.”
‘100 people a day’ bringing reusable cups to city cafe
Ms Draper said incentives were a big help in getting customers to make the switch to reusable cups.
“About 70 per cent of businesses registered with us offer incentives of 50 cents or more, and we’ve found that’s a big driver for getting people to change their behaviour and change their habits,” she said.
“We also know a lot of cafes and businesses are doing more to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill than offering reusable coffee cups, but we’ve found it’s great place to start.”
Brisbane CBD cafe manager Matthew Burt said about 100 people a day were bringing their own cup.
“Since the ABC’s War on Waste the sale of KeepCups went up dramatically and from there we’ve sold about two to three a day,” he said.
“We have a lot of people bringing in their own cups as well and we usually give them a discount or an incentive to continue.
“But I definitely think people are trying to cut down on waste. It’s more about reducing waste then the discount.”
Data from a Brisbane City Council 2017 waste survey found about 156 million single-use coffee cups are thrown away in Brisbane each year.