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The Reusable Cup Revolution Responsible Cafes


We all enjoy a good cup of coffee and many of us appreciate the added convenience of a take away cup. It’s part of our increasingly busy and mobile lives. But where do all those empty cups go? Are they recyclable? Is there a better solution?  What can we do to help – yet still enjoy that latte on the go? 

The Problem:

​Over one billion disposable coffee cups are littered or landfilled in Australia per year. Although the outer membrane of most coffee cups is made of recyclable paper, to make these cups waterproof, the card is fused with polyethylene, a material that cannot be separated out again in a standard recycling facility. It will probably outlive your time on earth! This type of container can not be considered recyclable. Some coffee shops use ‘compostable’ cups which are a slightly better alternative but also have their problems: These are lined with poly lactic acid (PLA) a ‘bioplastic’ which usually combines genetically–modified corn starch with plastic polymers. These cups can only be recycled in industrial composting facilities - which are rare.  Consequently, most takeaway cups end up in landfill.

The Solution:

Bringing your own reusable coffee cup for your takeaway is an easy way we can all help reduce our plastic pollution. With the support of Lane Cove Council and ‘Responsible Cafes’, Lane Cove Sustainability Action Group (LCSAG) are promoting a new program in Lane Cove to help you both save the environment and save money. To encourage customers to bring reusable cups to fill, some local coffee shops now offer a discount to customers who order coffee in a reusable cup. Look out for the blue ‘Responsible Cafes’ posters, to claim your discount. To date Oliver Brown, The Junction, Ground Caffe, Fourth Fish Cafe and Gelatissimo have all signed up to be part of the solution. This list will grow. Check out the ‘Responsible Cafes’ at to see latest members of this expanding coffee network. Lane Cove Council will also promote members through their regular sustainability newsletter. Don’t have a reusable coffee cup yet? LCSAG hope to hold more stalls in the Plaza to promote this initiative and sell cut price colourful KeepCups. So start your own re-use revolution in 2017 - and enjoy your coffee sustainably.

There are a growing number of local cafes and restaurants which are now offering a small discount to customers who bring their own reusable cup for their coffee fix. Look out for the Responsible Cafes blue poster and claim your discount while supporting this initiative.

A big thank you to these wonderful Lane Cove businesses, Lane Cove Council and the many customers for supporting this solution to growing waste problem. Among those businesses participating are:

  • Ground Caffe,

  • La Provence,

  • Lodge,

  • Oliver Brown,

  • The Junction,

  • Fourth Fish,

  • Artisan Brooklyn,

  • Gelatissimo,

  • Riverview Deli,

  • Bella Bacio,

  • Sweet Temptation

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