Wanaka coffee shops tackle single-use cups

A group of Wanaka residents have launched a campaign to make the town free of single-use coffee cups in two years time.

SUCfree (Single Use Cup-free) Wanaka was started in response to concerns of the resort town having an estimated 1 million takeaway coffee cups ending up in landfill or contaminating recycling streams every year.

About a dozen local coffee shops have already adopted the new scheme which avoids supplying hot drinks in non-recyclable disposable cups.

Customers are given the option of drinking their coffee from either a ceramic cup in the shop, or bringing their own cup. A third option is for customers to borrow a re-usable cup for $3 which they get back when they return the cup next time.

Foodstore & Cafe  owner Mathia of Florence. Photo: ODT
Foodstore & Cafe owner Mathia of Florence. Photo: ODT
Sharyn Mathias, who owns Florence's Foodstore & Cafe said her coffee shop was committed to the move away from single-use cups and she does not think the change will create an additional financial burden for shopkeepers.

"I don't think it's any more expensive, we've stopped using plastic lids on cups and that saved us 50% on costs, so I'm sure this system is going to be very economical," she said.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has granted the organisation $10,000 for the publicity to encourage the change away from single-use-cups.

ThIS last Wednesday saw SUCfree Wanaka hold a "Use Your Own Cup" day to help make coffee drinkers aware of the changes afoot.

"In the beginning our goal is just to get it out there and get some community awareness and to get people talking about it." said Brona Parsons of SUCfree Wanaka.

The group's long-term goal is to see the resort town free of single-use cups by 2022.

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