The Sustainable Workplace: Coffee and Reusable Cups

Whether you’re working from home, the office or are preparing to return to the office – making an effort to support a sustainable future is something that is achievable and reliant on everyone pitching in to make a difference. Our environmental consultants thought they’d concentrate on an area that most Melbournians take pride in – coffee. You’ve probably heard of reusable cup brands such as Keep Cup or Frank Green, but if you’ve ever thought they were just a fashion statement then allow us to open your eyes to a deeper and more eco-friendly side of things.

The truth about disposable takeaway cups

Even though most takeaway coffee cups claim to be biodegradable, recyclable or compostable – it doesn’t really go very far. For starters, our composting facilities in Australia are not advanced enough to handle the specific process involved with composting compostable coffee cups in such volumes. Standard disposable coffee cups are predominantly made from virgin paper instead of recycled and also feature a layer of polyethylene around them (which gives them their waterproof quality).

The bottom line is, most disposable coffee cups aren’t actually recyclable and technically our environmental consultants would advise you even avoid throwing them into a recycling bin due to the polyethylene-coated paper and lids not being recyclable. And, whilst compostable cups like those from BioPak are genuinely compostable – the infrastructure doesn’t allow for this to happen as often as it should.

Australia throws out an estimated one billion coffee cups per year – equating to 2.7 million per day. That is a lot of waste that just ends up in landfills and on the streets – because, at the end of the day – that’s exactly where it ends up. There is a simple solution to this problem, however.

Using reusable cups

The idea of having your own cup or bottle appeals to some but not so much to others. It’s just one more thing you have to carry around at the end of the day. However, if you’re someone that drinks even a single cup of coffee a day and grabs it take away from your local café, then having a reusable cup can go a long way. The main point here is that you’re not creating waste. Reusable cups are predominantly crafted from sustainable materials by ethical companies who care about the environment and understand the impact their products will have.

On a more superficial level – coffee generally doesn’t taste very nice when it’s coming from a disposable, polyethylene-treated paper cup. Frank Green cups are available in ceramic or co-polymer materials and Keep Cups are made from glass (with other companies crafting from similar materials) so the coffee you end up drinking actually tastes better than it would in a disposable cup.

Reusable cups also come in a range of colours, styles and sizes so you can choose the type that best reflects you or your coffee habits. They’re intuitively designed to not burn your hand and be easily drinkable whether you’re on the go or sitting at your office. There are even certain cafés that offer discounts if you bring your own container to encourage the habit.

Beyond coffee

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to coffee. Using reusable water bottles is a big part of being sustainable and like reusable coffee cups, you can purchase water bottles in several different styles and sizes. This is particularly handy if you’re someone who likes sparkling water and purchases plastic bottles regularly. Purchasing a soda water maker and storing it in your own bottles to take on the go is much more sustainable. Granted, plastic bottles are recyclable as opposed to disposable coffee cups – but it’s still a good habit to get into, nonetheless.

Are you looking for environmental consultants in Melbourne?

When it comes time to enjoy your daily dose of caffeine, our environmental consultants recommend you consider a sustainable, reusable cup. It’s the better option for both taste quality and the environment. If you require environmental consultants for other services, like environmental site assessments or asbestos testing/remediation – then Alpha Environmental is the environmental agency for you.

We’ve had years of experience testing and remedying land and properties all over Victoria and can help you if you’ve recently acquired land that you’re planning to build on. Environmental work is crucial during a construction project and will enable you to move forward with the construction knowing that there are no potential hazards.

If you’d like to know more about our services, then you can contact us by filling out the online form or by calling 1300 039 181.