Environmental organisations Friends of the Earth and City to Sea are joining forces this International Coffee Day to highlight the plastic pollution caused by single-use coffee cups.
As many return to the office, the caffeine pick-me-up is once again a central element of people’s morning commute.
A poll, which was carried out for City to Sea and Friends of the Earth in the summer of 2021 found that one in three people had reusable containers, including coffee cups, refused by cafes.
Despite initial worries at the height of the pandemic, leading experts have said that reusable coffee cups are safe to use providing basic hygiene guidance is followed. City to Sea has produced comprehensive guidance for businesses on how to accept reusable cups, bottles, and takeaway containers in a Covid-safe way.
This is why, together with Friends of the Earth, City to Sea are inviting commuters to carry their reusable cups with them. They’re also calling on businesses to accept reusable coffee cups and encourage customers to choose reusables over single-use coffee cups on International Coffee Day, and after.
This can be done safely by using City to Sea’s #ContactlessCoffee guidance.
Government can face up to the plastics challenge by introducing a new law to set legally binding limits to reduce all types of plastic pollution, not just coffee cups.They can do that right now in the Environment Bill as it makes its way through parliament.
The free Refill app connects people to places they can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging, and lists over 30,000 places in the UK where the people can get free drinking water refills, do zero waste shopping, and find businesses offering discounts for bringing a reusable cup.
Steve Hynd, Policy Manager at City to Sea, said: “There is a huge sense of déjà brew here. Pre-pandemic consumers were hooked on their morning coffee regardless of the environmental impact, using over 2.5 billion single-use plastic coffee cups a year.
A House of Commons report estimated that this had an annual carbon footprint equivalent to over 152,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, similar to what 33,300 cars produce in a year.”
He continued, “But a different way of drinking coffee is brewing. The use of reusable coffee cups can become the new norm just as using a reusable water bottle has. Reusables are saving consumers money and saving our environment.
“So, our advice this International Coffee Day is simple: set the alarm, wake up and smell the coffee in your reusable cup.”
Camilla Zerr, Plastics Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Plastic coffee cups are one of the many items contributing to the waste mountain of unnecessary plastics harming our environment.
“Government can face up to the plastics challenge by introducing a new law to set legally binding limits to reduce all types of plastic pollution, not just coffee cups.They can do that right now in the Environment Bill as it makes its way through parliament.
“In the meanwhile, we can do our bit on International Coffee Day by remembering our favourite reusable coffee cup along with travel cards and work passes as we head out of the door to the office once again.
“And we can make that caffeine injection count by supporting independent shops that are pioneering refill and plastic-free options.”