As we approach World Refill Day (16th June 2023), our CEO, Sam Roberts, muses on single use cups…
The disposable coffee cup. A morning rite of passage. The anticipation of warm strong coffee passing our lips, transporting us to a calmer place, a quick fix to help us tackle the day ahead. An innocent ritual. Well not quite…
You may sip away happily thinking your cup is recyclable but the vast majority fail recycling criteria because they are coated in a plastic lining. That means once the contents of that disposable cup are consumed less than 0.25% are successfully recycled, instead end up in the landfill, their brief moment of utility transformed into a burden on our planet.
This simple statistic was the primary reason we took a stand back in 2018 and banned single use takeaway cups at BTP, perhaps naively believing that change starts with individual action and ripples outward to inspire others.
We dreamt of a world where the clinking of ceramic cups resounded in cafes once again, where reusable cups become a ubiquitous accessory, the act of sipping from one a symbol of mindful living. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting.
In 5 years, we’re incredibly proud to have saved almost 1 million single use cups from going to landfill but depressed that billions continue to do so. The step-change in behaviour we dreamt of inspiring just hasn’t happened.
Whilst we recognise that solutions are not solely the responsibility of corporations or governments, it appears that waiting for a future where consumers alone break free from the chains of convenience and confront the consequences of their choices is an unsustainably long game.
We need to confront the corporations and governments complicit in perpetuating this wasteful cycle. We must call for both systemic and legislative change, demanding we refuse the disposable and embrace the reusable and in doing so, reclaim our power to shape our future, one sip at a time.
There are glimmers of hope. I recently met the fine folk of Monmouth Coffee, who went reusable 6 months ago. A move, considering the volume of takeaway coffee they do, far more heroic than ours. Inspirational ripples perhaps?
Watch this space…
CEO Boston Tea Party