The St George and Sutherland Shire cafes offering BYO reusable cup discounts

Waste conscious: Peter Nolan from Mr Paisley's Cafe in Caringbah. The cafe offers a 50 cent discount for customers who bring their own coffee cup. Picture: John Veage
Waste conscious: Peter Nolan from Mr Paisley's Cafe in Caringbah. The cafe offers a 50 cent discount for customers who bring their own coffee cup. Picture: John Veage

Australians love their coffee so much so that more than 1 billion takeaway cups and lids are wasted every year.

That’s about 50,000 cups every 30 minutes. 

Disposable coffee cups are a major contributor to Australia’s landfill challenges and some cafes are trying to do something about it by encouraging customers to curb their waste addiction. 

They have become signatories to the Responsible Cafes movement which 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 takeway cups.

At Mr Paisley's Cafe in Caringbah, sustainability has been a driving factor for owners Toni Webber and Peter Nolan who offer a 50c discount for people who bring their own cups.

The pair opened their new cafe in Cawarra Road in December and made their intentions clear from the start.

‘‘From the day we opened we  offered the keep cup discount - we want to be a responsible cafe," Nolan said.

"We are conscious  of not contributing to the waste problems so we do everything we can - we do steel straws and have a food waste bin that goes into a renewable energy scheme or is turned into fertiliser. 

‘‘We are passionate about it.”

Cup crazy: Craig Reucassel from the ABC’s War on Waste highlighted the fact that Australians throw away about 50,000 cups every 30 minutes.

Cup crazy: Craig Reucassel from the ABC’s War on Waste highlighted the fact that Australians throw away about 50,000 cups every 30 minutes.

As is the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

The foundation has welcomed the news that Cronulla café Grind Espresso Bar now sells its own branded Keep Cup in an effort to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used by its customers. 

Matt Griggs, a director of the Cronulla branch of the foundation, says he is happy to see a prominent business leading by example, and hopes that other local businesses and individuals will become more mindful of the impacts that their behaviors have on the environment. 

Surfrider Foundation Cronulla, along with the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce, Cronulla MP Mark Speakman and Sutherland Shire Council conducted a single-use plastic bag survey for “Plastic Free July”, and were very pleased to with the results.  

“We discovered that there was a overwhelming interest by the Cronulla community in reducing single-use plastic waste wherever possible, especially with items such as a plastic bags or coffee cups,” Mr Griggs said.

In St George the interest in reducing waste is particularly strong in the suburb of Oatley thanks to the efforts of two women.

Annette Ruhotas, with the help of another Oatley resident, Hannah Agayby, has made it her goal to make Oatley the first Responsible Cafes suburb in Australia.

‘‘After watching the ABC’s War on Waste program I started using a reusable coffee cup,” Annette said.

“And I had the idea of signing up all the cafes in Oatley, with the aim of making Oatley the first Responsible Cafes suburb in Australia.

‘‘The War on Waste program had an immediate impact, with a couple of Oatley cafes signing up to Responsible Cafes off their own bat, which was great to see.

‘‘For the rest of the cafes, Hannah and I visited each one with information about Responsible Cafes. 

‘‘Some cafes signed up there and then, but others were more reluctant. In the end all the cafes and even a couple of restaurants signed up.’’

Here to stay: Sheree Tiddy, who owns Tidz Across the Park in Oatley, believes the Keep Cup movement, like reusable shopping bags, is here to stay. Picture: John Veage

Here to stay: Sheree Tiddy, who owns Tidz Across the Park in Oatley, believes the Keep Cup movement, like reusable shopping bags, is here to stay. Picture: John Veage

Tidz Across the Park Oatley has signed up to the Responsible Cafes scheme. 

Sheree Tiddy, who has owned her Oatley cafe for 12 years, offers a 50c discount for people who bring their own cups  and says the ‘‘keep cup’’ idea was here to stay.

“The War on Waste TV show on the ABC brought this to everyone’s attention,’’ Sheree said.

‘‘We get about 20 people a day bringing their own cups.

‘‘It’s not just a phase. People are sticking with it like taking your own bags shopping.

‘‘We have had a positive reaction to our discount offer.’’ 

Tidz Cafe and Mr Paisley’s are two of the hundreds of Australian cafes that have signed up to the Responsible Cafes scheme via the website responsiblecafes.org.

‘‘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,’’ the website says. 

Need to know

A lot of the cups are unrecyclable, as the plastic or polymer lining can’t easily be separated from the paper cup.

This means most cups in Australia end up in landfill.

Even if your favourite cafe serves coffee in “compostable cups”, resources and energy have to go into making these single use items.

You can take a Keep Cup or other branded reusable cup, which comes with a lid similar to a disposable cup, but lots of cafes are just as happy if you want to take along any old mug.

Choosing a cafe that offers an incentive means you can save yourself money as well as helping the environment.

Where to go

  • Cafes which offer an incentive to BYO in Sutherland Shire include:

Revolution @ Como

72 Wolger St, Como. Discount: $0.50

Mr Paisleys Cafe

88 Cawarra Road, Caringbah. Discount: $0.50

Milkhouse

20 Torres St, Kurnell. Discount: $0.50

Gloria Jeans Caringbah

324-326 The Kingsway, Caringbah: Discount: $0.50

Passionfruit Cafe

46 Brighton St, BundeenaPassionfruit Cafe.  Discount: $0.50

LOAF Sandwiches

89 Cronulla St, Cronulla. Discount: $0.30

Activ8 Health & Fitness

381 Port Hacking Rd, Caringbah. Discount: $0.50

Bourke Street Bakery Kirrawee

3/455 The Boulevarde. Discount: $0.20

Coco's Coffee Co

(Saturday market) 131 Flora St, Sutherland. Discount: : $0.50

West End Espresso

2/3 Jannali Ave, Jannali. Discount: $0.50

  • Cafes which offer an incentive to BYO in St George include:

German Butchery Deli & Cafe

Shop 1, 2A Sarsfield Circuit, Bexley North 

Discount: : $0.50

Otsu

1/249 Forest Rd, Hurstville

Discount: : $0.50

Soul Origin Hurstville Westfield

Discount: : 10% off

Spaghetti Cafe

16/52 Martin Pl, Mortdale

Discount: : $0.30

Lugarno deli cafe

1022 Forest Rd, Lugarno

Discount: : $0.50

Edmonds & Greer

97 Mulga Road Oatley

Discount: : $0.30

Postcard from Napoli Woodfire Pizzeria

2/93 Mulga Road, Oatley

Discount: $0.50

La Zona Cafe Restaurant

71 Mulga Road, Oatley

Discount: : $0.50

Tidz Across the Park

2/12A Oatley Parade, Oatley

Discount: : $0.50

Dolce Espresso

18 Letitia St, Oatley 

Discount: : $0.50

Scrummies

Shop 1/15 Letitia St, Oatley 

Discount: : $0.50

Bitton Oatley Cafe and Grocer

119 Mulga Rd, Oatley

Discount: : $0.50

  • Note: This list is based on entries on www.responsiblecafes.org as well as reader suggestions that the Leader has been able to verify. If you know of any others, let us know in the comments below (cafe name, address and discount) and we’ll update it. We want as many people as possible to be encouraged to BYO!

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