Sydney council votes on reusable cup scheme

The Inner West Council of New South Wales has voted to support an investigation into a pilot reusable coffee cup scheme.

The pilot, which is based on the successful model pioneered by the German city of Freiburg, aims to recruit cafés across a specific geographic area to participate in a scheme.

Customers would drop off their empty cup at any participating café, which will clean and provide another for reuse.

“Australians use more than three billion disposable single use coffee cups annually,” Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne says.

“These single use cups can be a major source of littering and are difficult to recycle, as they are made from a composite material – paper with a plastic waterproof layer.

This is a practical way we can reduce waste, save money and help local cafes meet their customers’ preferences for environmentally sustainable products and services.”

Darcy says there are a range of strategies the council will now be looking at to best implement this initiative across the Inner West, including analysing international approaches to reducing single-use coffee cups.

“It will take some work, but I think this pilot can see the Inner West lead the way in helping to eliminate disposable coffee cups across Australia,” Darcy says.

The Inner West Council is located in the inner western region of Sydney, and includes the suburbs of Balmain, Newtown, Temp, Croydon and Marrickville.

The council also voted to become a partner in the Responsible Cafes program, a not-for-profit scheme that encourages reusable coffee cup use.

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