South-west cafes have answered a regional push to cut the number of single-use coffee cups used.
Twenty businesses have signed up to the responsible cafes website following the launch of Caffeine Dream, a local project to reduce the 50,000 cups that go into landfill every 30 minutes across Australia.
Leadership Great South Coast (LGSC) members have led the charge, approaching local cafes and businesses to highlight the issue, following the ABC documentary War on Waste, which screened in May.
When LGSC began the campaign in June, project lead Juanita Dickinson said there were no south-west cafes listed on the site.
The businesses listed have committed to helping reduce or eliminate single-use coffee cups by offering a discount to customers who used them. “There’s 20 across the region and we started with zero so we’re pretty happy,” Ms Dickinson said. There wasn’t that many (cafes) doing it until the War on Waste screening.”
Group members also contacted South West Healthcare, Wannon Water and Warrnambool's Commonwealth Bank Business Centre to ask them to promote behaviour change among their staff in their organisations.
Ms Dickinson said South West Healthcare was now selling cups they designed in the Warrnambool hospital’s Cafe Nosh.
“We're really proud to see an organisation like South West Healthcare stepping up and promoting a culture of reducing their impact on the environment,” she said.
This week group members hit the streets to giveaway 150 reusable cups which were snapped up in minutes at three Warrnambool cafes. “We’re really happy,” Ms Dickinson said. “My happiest moment was seeing a dozen school-age kids who wanted their hot chocolate in Keep Cups. That’s the future for sustainability.”
Members challenged cafe patrons to take a pledge to change their coffee consuming behaviour and encouraged anyone whose favourite cafe isn't on the map to encourage them to jump onboard and promote change.