We are coffee drinkers, cafe owners
and citizens who share a culture of
connection and conscious consumption.
Australians love their coffee.
so much so that OVER 3 BILLION TAKEAWAY CUPS AND LIDS ARE wasted every YEAR.
Most are never recycled.
As featured on the ABC's War on Waste, Responsible Cafes connects thoughtful cafes with Conscious consumers through one simple idea.
cafes can reduce or eliminate disposable coffee cups
by offering a discount to customers with reusable takeaway cups.
Contrary to popular belief, takeaway coffee cups are rarely recycled and only rarely composted due to inadequate industrial composting facilities and the difficulty of getting the cups/lids there.
Becoming a responsible cafe saves money and reduces waste, and incentivises customers to do the right thing by bringing their own cups. Our goal is to change the game on single-use waste by nurturing a culture of reuse.
Participating cafes get a vintage-style poster, an information sheet outlining the issue, and bi-yearly metrics on the benefits of the program. Post a funky pledge photo (with the poster and/or reusable cup in action in the cafe - or something more creative!) for the chance to be promoted to all of Australia on Facebook and Instagram.
If you or anyone you know owns a café, OR if you would like to approach cafes in your area, check out our FAQs for more information. Otherwise get in touch!
Like what we do? We welcome donations via Paypal to help us reach even more cafes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cafes - join the movement, be the change
Offer a discount to customers with BYO cups and get on the map of thousands of participating cafes across Australia.
Simply enter your details, download your poster to display, then start the conversation with your customers!
Does the Responsible Cafes discount still apply to hot chocolates?
Of course! Our discounts apply to all drinks that are served in a takeaway cup - Yes that means milkshakes and smoothies too!
There are no Responsible Cafes near where I live/work...
Most of our collaborating cafes are on board because of people like you, the regulars, starting the conversation and inspiring them to get on board. Get chatting!
What can I do if I'm a customer who wants to convert my local cafe?
If you are interested in ushering in the #reuserevolution we suggest taking your BYO cup to your favourite local cafes and asking them if they offer discounts for reusable cups. If not, tell them about Responsible Cafes and the growing trend. There are many benefits for their business, including reduced costs in purchasing takeaway cups and promotion amongst a conscious group on our social media and map. Tell them why you as a customer would prefer to shop at a Responsible Cafe and direct them to our website responsiblecafes.org for more information and to register. Download our volunteer information sheet here for more information.
How do I make my Responsible Barista happy?
We suggest the following to make the transition smooth and creamy.
- Bring your cup (and lid)
- Write your coffee order on your cup (or use a post it note - as many cafes write on lids regardless!)
- Make sure your cup is clean. Most baristas don't mind cleaning the odd one but if it's all of them it will massively delay their process and annoy them!
What reusable cups do you recommend for a cafe to stock?
We love all sorts of reusable cups, from your fun and colourful Keep Cups, stainless steel Cheeki's, stylin' Frank Green's, strong-as Kleen Kanteen's and your old school office Magyver mug! Why not share a snap of you and your favourite mug with the #responsiblecafes?
What do I do if I know a 'bad Bean' - i.e. a cafe that is no longer a Responsible Cafe OR whose details are incorrect?
Let us know! Please email us at email@example.com with the details of the cafe - their name, location and what's happening and we'll see if we can roast them back to happiness.
My cafe refused to take my reusable cup/container due to 'health and safety' reasons.
We are unaware of any regulation or provision preventing the use of reusable containers at food venues. There is no provision under the Victorian Food Act 1984 (the Act) or the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) that prevents a customer from using their own container for storage of food purchased. If a business has a policy to not accept customer containers for the storage of food purchased, then that is a business decision rather than a restraint due to legislation.
Tammy from Gippsland Unwrapped;
"If they genuinely seem to disagree, then I will suggest they check with the Food Safety Unit at the Department of Health and Human Services. Otherwise, I’ll ask that the business owns up to rejecting this environmentally friendly practice as its own business decision, not as something that has been forced upon them."
Can a Cafe REally be called responsible if all they are doing is bringing in a small discount for coffee cups?
Our goal is to change the game on single-use waste by nurturing a culture of reuse. We've chosen to target a specific item, takeaway cups, to strengthen our impact. We believe in incremental change and if a business chooses to incentivise BYO cups they are showing that they want to be part of the growing trend towards reuse. Promoting a discount is start but there are so many other aspects of their business they can transform - e.g. plastic bags, straws, bottled water, composting food waste, using renewable energy, you name it!
What can my council do to help support Responsible Cafes?
I have a media and press related enquiry.