We’re kicking single-use cups to the curb for good. Here’s why.
At Because we mean it when we say we’re big on the environment and are committed to championing it both on an agency and a personal level. We’re constantly asking ourselves how we can lessen our impact and be more environmentally conscious in our daily activities. Being in an industry fuelled by caffeine to get the creative juices flowing, our collective single-use cup footprint has been huge.
For the last few years, my team will attest to my absolute commitment to BYO cups. Something switched in me when I found out that disposable coffee cups, even if they say they’re recyclable or compostable rarely are, due to the facilities in which they are processed. Never mind the fact that it’s not very enjoyable to drink out of plastic (that’s a whole other tangent I could get into regarding our endocrine disruption – but I’ll save that for another day..).
When COVID hit, many cafés that were accepting BYO cups switched to disposables amid safety concerns, even though there were no government mandates to say they must do so, or evidence to show that BYO cups pose any further risk in transmission.
Sarah Wilson, author and climate activist, has been passionately calling for people to ditch the takeaway coffee cups and to BYO, providing evidence on the environmental impact – a whopping one billion cups go into landfill every year in Australia. She’s also doing a brilliant job of dispelling COVID myths around BYO cups.
With the help of some local Bondi cafés, she launched a grassroots initiative ‘BYO Cup week’ which takes place between the 1st and 10th of December. I’ve gotten involved in my local suburb, Leichhardt, along with a bunch of passionate environmentalists and mums. We’ve recruited cafés that support the cause, worked with BYO cup providers to fund discounts on cups, created materials and content to promote the week, put up posters, and will be out on the streets giving contactless high fives to those who bring their own cup.
We met with Bondi and other crews coming on board with the event, and shared approaches to changing behaviours. Being involved with a grassroots initiative for something that I am genuinely passionate about makes me feel proud. We even got a shoutout from our local MP in parliament earlier this week 😉
Sure, single-use cups may just be the tip of the landfill. The point is, by committing to change our small everyday habits, together we can have a massive overall impact. Driving sustainability as a company means working towards those bigger, more audacious goals, but also not overlooking the day-to-day efforts we can make as a team towards treading more lightly on Mother Earth. And why stop at reusable cups? Encourage people in your agency or place of work to start their own initiatives and bake sustainability into your culture cake.
If you haven’t already made the switch, I’d like to encourage you to BYO cup next time you’re grabbing a coffee to go. And if you don’t have a cup, most coffee shops sell a range of reusable cups to suit every taste. Or you can always bring your own from home. Even better, take five to savour your favourite brew sitting in. It’s a wonderful, mindful way to start your day.
You can follow along at @byocup_leichhardt and @byocupweek on Instagram.