Grant to ditch takeaway coffee cups

The City of Sydney has announced grant funding to tackle takeaway coffee cups, marine plastic pollution and energy waste.

Recipients of its knowledge exchange sponsorships include the Responsible Cafes ‘BYO coffee cup’ campaign, which encourages consumers to reduce the volume of coffee cups to landfill by bringing their own re-usable cups.

Other recipients include the Total Environment Centre – a national conference on solutions for marine plastic pollution and Energy Action – to improve compliance with energy efficiency legislation across city buildings.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City is a strong supporter of new ideas and innovation in the sustainability sector.

“There’s no dedicated coffee cup recycling facility in Australia yet, so we’re getting behind the ‘BYO coffee cup’ campaign to get to the root of the problem,” the Lord Mayor said.

“In our area alone, 100 million takeaway coffee cups end up in landfill every year – and each one takes around 50 years to decompose, thanks to the plastic liner inside the cup.

“Responsible Cafés connects and promotes cafes that encourage customers to refuse takeaway cups for good, and they’re aiming to recruit another 100 new city cafes.

“We can’t tackle Sydney’s environmental challenges on our own, so grants like these are crucial if we’re going to make the change we need.”

The project complements the ‘Choose.Reuse’ campaign by our national CitySwitch Green Office program, where CitySwitch companies challenge their staff to avoid disposable cups in the office.

Responsible Cafes founder Justin Bonesey the movement was growing at a rapid pace.

“We are in the midst of the biggest shift away from disposable coffee cups in our generation as there are now over 2,500 cafes across Australia offering a discount to people with a BYO coffee cup – and growing by the day,” Mr Bonesy said.

“It’s great for our pocketbooks, great for cafes to bring in new customers, and great for the planet. Cafes keen to make a difference can sign up on our website to get free downloadable promo materials and be listed on our searchable map of participating cafes visited by over a million people per year.”

Customers at Cherubini Espresso Bar in Darlinghurst have been receiving a discount for using a reusable cup for more than a year and owner Marz Adnan is thrilled to see more cafes jumping on board.

“It’s great to see so many cafes jumping on board this important movement. For the customer it’s a no-brainer. They can reuse their cup, save some money and do their part to protect the environment,” Mr Adnan said.

In early 2017, the City adopted Environmental Action 2016–2021, a five-year plan which outlined a vision to transform Sydney into a low carbon, zero waste and water sensitive city.

The strategy recognises that collaboration is essential for the City to achieve its targets and included a new environmental knowledge exchange grant program.

Knowledge exchange sponsorships support the exchange of ideas and knowledge, showcasing local and international expertise.

The Total Environment Centre’s Marine Plastic Pollution Solution Conference will be held from 30 October to 1 November with the help of a knowledge exchange sponsorship.

“CSIRO research estimates that two thirds of marine debris found along the Australian coastline is plastic, much of it flowing into the ocean through our stormwater and sewerage systems, presenting an enormous hazard to marine life” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our Environmental Action strategy includes a target to halve the amount of solid pollution discharged into our waters via the stormwater system by 2030. This conference will help us achieve that.”

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