About Us

Our Story

Responsible Cafes was founded in 2013, as an initiative of the award-winning not-for-profit Responsible Runners. Collecting litter on our beaches each week, our group of volunteers wanted to tackle the issue of ocean pollution from its source and help reduce plastic waste from our oceans and neighbourhoods. We are one of Australia’s most innovative, popular, & fastest-growing programs actively engaging cafes to improve sustainability.

Behind the scenes we have a mixture of volunteers and professionals across the country working on the program to help increase the reach, educate the community and grow the network.

We have now grown to 4,400+ cafes and we feel a lot of our success has been based on the simple changes both the Cafe and the consumer can make.

The Problem

Due to the nasty plastic lining hiding in takeaway cups, it is very challenging for waste management streams to recycle cups. Unlike a Tetra-Pac for example, in order to hold a hot drink for a period of time, the plastic is too thick to be sent to paper recycling streams. The current streams of kerbside and public waste management cannot effectively separate the two materials so the cups get sent to landfill. Customers dispose of their ‘paper cup’ in their paper recycling with best intentions but this in fact contaminates the collection which can result in the whole bin getting sent to landfill.

Meet The Team

Jo Horsley

Jo Horsley

Calls the shots // General Manager and Partnerships

Partnerships whizz, best friend to our councils, genius with community engagement, steering the Responsible Cafes ship across calm and choppy waters! Mother of a crazy three old, music maker and lover of the ocean.

Rachel Draper

Rachel Draper

Takes your coffee order // Operations Manager

Looking after all of our cafes, campaign management, keeping eyes peeled for new collaboration opportunities and all day-to-day queries. Rescue dog mamma and lover, founder of the Relove Movement, spreadsheet whizz and general waste warrioress.

Cath Leach

Cath Leach

Creates the heart shape on your coffee // Designer and Creative Strategist

The master behind all Responsible Cafe designs and branding, creating positive changes through friendships and collaborations with other legendary initiatives. Master behind the reuse of a glass jar.


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