The little coffee cup scheme going from strength to strength - RNY News

The little coffee cup scheme going from strength to strength

October 1, 2019

Liam Taylor

A free reusable café cup system created by two Aussie dads is making it easy for caffeine lovers to ditch disposable cups and cut what’s going to landfill.

Us Australians are latte-loving coffee crazies, going through over 1.2 billion disposable coffee cups each year. Of those, an estimated 90% end up either in landfill or, even worse, making their way into our streets, parks and rivers.

Martin Brooks and Damien Clarke, two dads from the NSW south coast, decided to do something about the issue after their own struggle to remember the reusable cups each time they grabbed a brew.

“I'd leave them in the car for days, forget to wash them, and end up buying a brand new one,” Clarke told The Canberra Times of his experience with BYO.

“We thought there has to be a better way. We came up with a swan and go coffee cup scheme.”

The idea is simple. Cafes sign up to become a Green Caffeen partner for free and are supplied with a bunch of reusable cups to start with. Coffee lovers can then go to these participating cafes (found using the Green Caffeen app), get a free cup to drink their beverage in and then drop the cup back to any participating café within 30 days.

The project was officially launched just over a year ago in Kiama, but over 300 cafes have now signed up to the program across the country. In July this year, Sydney’s Inner West Café collaborated with Green Caffeen and Responsible Cafes to bring the scheme to cafes across the jurisdiction.


Positive Action

  • To find out more about the program, download the app or find a participating café, head to the Green Caffeen website.
  • Coffee waste doesn’t just refer to the cups. Earlier this year we completed a coffee ground collection and repurposing trial in Sydney’s CBD. Read the report here.
  • If you can't access a reusable cup, look for the RecycleMe™ coffee cup collection and recycling system.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 

Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.