Buying a daily takeaway cappuccino doesn’t have to mean fouling the environment by using umpteen foam cups a year.
And this month, coffee lovers in Perth’s western suburbs have been quick to embrace a new environmental campaign Bring One, Get One Tree.
Customers just have to rock up with their own resuseable cup when buying their daily coffee and for every takeaway coffee sold in a reusable coffee cup, a native shrub will be purchased and planted.
Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, coordinator at Western Metropolitan Regional Council and co-founder of the campaign says she’s “overwhelmed” with the response from café owners and hundreds of customers.
“More than 1 billion coffee cups are produced every year in Australia, generating over 7,000 tonnes of waste,” she tells The Starfish.
Every day, a staggering 2.25 billion takeaway cups of coffee are consumed around the world.
Takeaway coffee cups are recyclable in theory – but the plastic lining making the cup waterproof makes them not recyclable.
Another reason is contamination: they don’t get washed and end up being thrown into normal bins instead of recycling bins.
The award-winning campaign, made possible with prize money from the Waste Authority of WA, started in 2011 and is growing ever year.
“We really wanted something very tangible and practical in our area – something really engaging to raise awareness amongst our local community,” Rebecca explains.
“The aim of the campaign is to change people’s habits by making it rewarding for everyone.”
“We’re hearing customers are starting to bring in their own cups, who have never done this before. They are like, ‘ wow if I do that than there will be a tree planted in my local area,’ it’s something that makes them stop and think.
“Some have gone out and bought cups or a lot of them already had them but never used to bring them and now they are making a habit of it.”
But why stop at just coffee cups? Plastic bags and other single use plastics can be replaced by environmentally friendly options.
“In Margaret River, a group of people who participated last year were very passionate and now they have their farmers markets to ban plastic bags, and other cafes to refuse plastic bags,” she said
“Not only have they changed their own lifestyle patterns but it’s been a catalyst for them lobbying for change in the community.
Bring One, Get One Tree is available until the end of July.
Peppermint Grove: PLC Cafe
For more information visit: http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/bring-one-get-one-tree.html