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Leading the way to a disposable-cup free Lincoln

Leading the way to a disposable-cup free Lincoln

A boutique food store and coffee hotspot is leading the way in Lincoln by ditching disposable coffee cups completely and is urging other business owners to do the same.

The Lincoln Pantry launched its Use Your Own Cup (UYOC) scheme in mid-March 2018 with a goal of eliminating 30,000 disposable cups from landfill each year.

“When we opened in May 2016, we were proud of our choice to use only compostable takeaway coffee cups and lids,” says Phillippa, “but were so disappointed when we realised that most still end up in landfill anyway because of the lack of appropriate processing facilities.

In fact, nearly 300 million disposable cups go to landfill every year in New Zealand and the lack of oxygen in landfills means that even compostable ones can’t break down. Coupled with the knowledge that it takes a whole tree to provide enough takeaway cups for one person to have one cup of coffee a year, Pantry owner Phillippa Boa decided that drastic action was required.

“Using a keep cup is really the only way to minimise all of that energy and waste”, says Phillippa. “We know it’s going to take a little extra effort for people, but as we’ve seen with the whole plastic bag issue, there is a growing acceptance of the need to eliminate plastic and waste. Sooner or later, using your own cup will be the norm too”.

A range of reusable cups are available to purchase in-store and the Pantry also offers a ‘Swappacup’ system which is particularly useful for people who want to text in their orders and don’t want to lose any downtime; they just swap their old cup for a new cup with their favourite brew all ready to go. “Coffee with a clear conscience is the goal” says owner Phillippa Boa.

In the two weeks since the initiative was launched, the Pantry has sold more than 150 keep cups. “The response from our customers has been absolutely amazing” says Phillippa. “Virtually everyone has got on board and commended us for doing it.”

The Pantry offers a free coffee with every keep cup purchase.

The Pantry’s initial investment in reusable cups was made with the personal assistance of a Lincoln Envirotown member, and with the support of Lincoln Envirotown which hopes the initiative will lead the way to a disposable-cup-free Lincoln and beyond.


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