War on Waste Vs Covid-19

Go Topless: Say no to Takeaway Coffee Cup Lids

Since Responsible Cafes was flung into Australian homes via TV’s during The War on Waste, we estimate that we have saved an approximate 174 million* cups from landfill.

For the last few years we have been chipping away at the reusable message and starting to gain some great traction with reusable cups becoming quite the norm… until Covid-19 hit and your reusable is most likely sitting in your cupboard gaining dust! Can we save the reusable message amongst the Covid-19 fear that has spread through the cafe community and beyond? We have put together some myth busting facts to help you navigate through this challenging time and hopefully get that reusable out for some responsible social distance coffee.

1. Is it illegal to use a reusable coffee cup in a cafe due to Covid-19? 

Short answer is no!! At the time of writing this article, there is no known legislation that says a cafe can’t accept a reusable container. However some states have stopped supporting reusables, QLD for one does not accept reusables as part of their Covid safe plan. 

2. Is single-use safer than reusables?

No – not if the reusable has been washed properly and handled correctly. There is nothing to say that a single use cup has not been infected during it’s life cycle and during the exchange to a customer.

3. How long does Covid-19 last on surfaces?

Recent research search shows that the virus can live for up to 72 hours on hard shiny surfaces (glass counters, plastic containers etc) and 24 hours on porous surfaces (paper cups, cardboard etc). The big thing to remember is to clean surfaces properly following Australian food safety standards, keeping your staff and customers safe. More info here.

 4. How can I serve a contactless coffee?

Here are some options:

a) Ask customers to place their cup on the counter and pour the shot and milk in it for them. 

b) If your customers are not allowed close to the coffee serving counter, you can pour the coffee into one of your drink-in cups, walk it over the customer and pour this into their cup for them. (See video below)

c) Look into some great cup swap schemes. More info below!

5. How can a cup swap scheme work for me during Covid-19? 

Now is a great time to review your cafe logistics. A good cup swap scheme is a great way of keeping your waste down and managing reusable cups the way you want to. Huskee Swap is a great example with a simple swap system and added cost benefits as the customer buys the cup from you to get started. Here is how it works in a nutshell:

  1. A customer either brings their own HuskeeCup, or buys one from you
  2. You put this one aside to be commercially cleaned and sanitised in your washing system at a more convenient time. Some cafes have a collection bucket ready for cups to be dropped off.
  3. Instead of serving them in the same cup, you swap their cup for a pre-washed HuskeeCup!

All you need to do is create a wholesale account here, and use the code responsiblecafes5aff at the checkout (details below).

Huskee recommends a minimum of 4x6oz, 4x8oz and 4x12oz (plus lids) for the ‘float’ and HuskeeCups for retail. For more info around integrating order ahead, setting up your till, & best practices visit HuskeeSwap Support or reach out to swap@huskee.co.

We have a special Responsible Cafes discount offer for cafes – 5% off wholesale price when purchasing over $150 with Free shipping Australia Wide. The good beans have offered us a small donation for any cup sold so winners all round! Once logged into your wholesale account just use the promo code responsiblecafes5aff

You can then sign up for HuskeeSwap below and once activated, you’ll receive a Merchandise Pack with POS Stand: https://swapcafe.huskee.co/session/signup

 

Any keen beans interested in purchasing a Huskee cup, use the code responsiblecafes10aff to get 10% off on retail price via https://huskee.co  🙂

6. How can I reduce the chances of infection? 

 We are all surrounded by people and surfaces. Reducing contact is obviously the most effective way to reduce infection but not always possible. The best advice out there is to WASH YOUR HANDS – think of them as evil germ tentacles. And if you can’t do this, then use hand sanitizer. Your own hands are your biggest enemy. Also avoid touching any parts of your face in between hand washes. More info here https://www.freshfoodsafety.org/news

 

7. What else can I do to reduce single use plastic waste during this time?  

a) Ask customers if they want a lid on their coffee? That pesky plastic lid is a huge litter bug and ends up on many of Australia’s beautiful shore lines. Let’s try and avoid this. Here is silly but helpful poster for you to download, print off and pop up if you think it is appropriate for your customers. It might put a few smiles on faces too! 

b) Explore the use of compostable grade containers. Check out compostable gear from Compostable Alternatives – there is 10% off for all Responsible Cafes with the code responsiblecafes10 to make the products more affordable for you (please note, this is not a commercial partnership – we just want to try and help you out!). 

c) If you are running takeaway services ditch the plastic cutlery, straws, napkins and condiments!

8. Can the Virus live on food? 

According Australia New Zealand Food Standard there is NO evidence for foodborne transmission of COVID-19 and no reported cases of COVID-19 have been linked to contamination of food. It is always advisable to wash fresh fruit and veg before serving. Don’t use soap or disinfectants… obvs.  It isn’t made for eating. 

9. I am feeling really anxious about the crisis. 

 Of course you do! It is a very uncertain time for many with financial and personal stresses adding to the challenges of everyday life. If you or your team are feeling blue get in touch with https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/ and talk it through with a professional. Or have a chat over a virtual coffee hang with one of your best buddies and get air some of your problems

10. Have we lost the reusable revolution?

NO WAY! We are just getting started. We are all responsible for our actions and we are working to adapt our program and work with the industry to meet the changing needs of the community. If you want to support what we do head please head to Responsiblecafes.org to find out more.

Top tips for tips to help you adapt your cafe operations during Covid-19 health crisis

What a terribly challenging time this must be for your business and employees right now, with doors closed to the public and customers only being able to order takeaway. For some of you this is a new way of doing business and we want to try and help by sharing what...

How To Avoid Single Use Plastic In Cafes 2024

There is nothing worse than sitting to dine in and having a takeaway cup delivered to your table. Whether it’s plastic lined paper, compostable, or totally plastic for iced drinks, if you were trying to avoid single use plastic, it can leave a bitter taste before...

Spilling the Beans with bRU Coffee Bondi

Intro-brew-sing… bRU Coffee Bondi! If you’ve been to Bondi recently, you may have spied a bustling hole in the wall, with surfers, families and four-legged friends alike gathered around doing the Saturday quiz together. Chances are you’ve stumbled upon one of our...

Can Reusable Water Bottles Be Recycled in Australia in 2024?

Whether it’s from a work conference, sporting event, or o-week at uni, most of us have a reusable water bottle of some kind sitting untouched in the back of our kitchen cupboards. One spring clean later and you’re left with an assortment of reusable remnants that,...

Why Haven’t You Heard Of PFAS?

The intimate relationship you’re in with highly persistent and dangerous ‘forever chemicals’If you’re at all interested in climate change, plastic pollution, or general sustainability, I’m sure you watched ABC's War On Waste 3, which aired earlier this year. One of...

Are Takeaway Coffee Cups Recyclable?

We understand better than most just how important your morning coffee is. Whether you’re making it at home or picking it up on the way to work (or both), we would never deny Australians their daily caffeine. Our problem is that we fundamentally disagree that our...

Are Takeaway Coffee Cup Lids Recyclable?

Have you ever stood in front of a bin, takeaway coffee cup in hand, and wondered… now what? Do I separate the lid from the cup? Recycle the whole thing and hope for the best?  Between plastic and compostable cups and lids, trying to figure out what each item is and...

Join the 2023 BYOFriday Campaign with War on Waste!

In collaboration with the ABC and the new season of War on Waste, our nationwide BYO Friday campaign kicked off alongside Plastic Free July with the aim of reducing waste and promoting the habit of reuse!

Are home compostable coffee cups more expensive?

In today’s eco-conscious world, sustainable packaging is becoming an increasingly important factor in our purchasing decisions. For both businesses and consumers wanting to offer or use a disposable option for takeaway coffee, one alternative to plastic and bioplastic...

NEW Approved by RC Product: Certified Fully Home Compostable Coffee Cups + Lids

read on because we got a cheeky discount for you!We have some exciting news to share! Our General Manager, Marion, has been spearheading the development of interim solutions for cafes that are unable to offer a full reusable experience (yet!). As we work towards our...

Telstra Best of Business Awards: RC Receives Finalist Award for Promoting Sustainability

20,879 nominations and 246 Australia-wide finalists including 60 in South Australia. And Responsible Cafes was one of them! We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Responsible Cafes was named as a Finalist in the Telstra Best of Business Awards in the Promoting...

*Based on a recent survey which concluded that a Responsible Cafe saves 35.2 cups per days from landfill