The Big 4

3 Comments

When it comes to Plastic Free July and reducing your single-use plastics for the long-term good of the planet in general and the oceans in particular, there are 4 major culprits.

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Although they are the worst offenders, I think it is relatively easy to make changes to eliminate many of them.

In no particular order they are:

Coffee cups
Bags
Straws
Bottles

Why are they regarded as the biggest problems?

  1.  Volume – there are just so many used every single day.
  2.  Only used once in most instances.
  3. Lightweight – so they easily become unintentional litter which ends up in waterways and ultimately in the ocean.
  4. Unnecessary – there are easy alternatives.

What do you currently do and what can you change to reduce your usage of these plastic ‘nasties’?

I will address one of these items each day and today I will begin with coffee cups.

Australians have developed a love affair with coffee, and more specifically takeaway coffee.  Once upon a time we were a nation of tea drinkers and coffee was almost a special occasion drink.  Even more recently the norm was to go to a cafe and sit down with a cup of coffee.  However, the trend of grabbing a coffee ‘to go’ has become a national pastime and we are killing the oceans in the process.

Those innocuous paper cups are NOT recyclable, compostable or anything else.  They are rubbish, that at best ends up in landfill or at worst in the ocean.  This is because they are made of composite materials, including a layer of plastic.

The recent ABC television program, ‘War on Waste’ shone the light squarely on disposable coffee cups and the havoc they are creating.

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I am not a coffee drinker and fail to grasp what amounts to an addiction to coffee but you can still have your ‘caffeine fix’ without destroying the planet.

Simply take your reusable cup along to your favourite cafe and have it filled for you to take away.  Simple.  Easy.  We could very quickly eliminate disposable coffee cups.

Some cafes even offer a discount as an incentive to bring your own mug.  If your cafe is not willing to oblige you could vote with your feet and take your custom elsewhere as there are no shortage of cafes looking for your business.  Remember, conscious consumption can make a difference.

So, what is your coffee story?  Do you take a reusable cup for your coffee?  How it is received?  Do you get a discount?

 

 

3 thoughts on “The Big 4

  1. I take my Keep Cup everywhere with me. I only go to cafes that feel comfortable serving my coffee in them, as well as giving a discount. Some cafes freak out as they can’t write a name on them or the order requirement. And then again, Sometimes I even skip the cafe and BYO keep cup and thermos flask!

  2. I’m not guilty on this one – I don’t drink coffee at all and hate things in disposable cups anyway. I also don’t use straws or plastic bottles – and I try to keep the use of plastic bags down to a minimum.

  3. This is one of the things I learnt from when taking part in Plastic Free July a few years ago. I have a reusable coffee cup that I take everywhere and, so far, have never had a problem with getting it filled. If I ever forget it and have to use disposable, then I make sure I don’t take the plastic lid – although some places insist for ‘health and safety reasons’ – although they don’t insist on a lid for a china cup!

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