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City of Adelaide joins the war on disposable coffee cups

The City of Adelaide is partnering with CBD cafes to pilot incentives to reduce the amount of waste generated by disposable coffee cups.

Cafes in the pilot area bound by Gawler Place, King William, Flinders, and Grenfell Streets will be able to receive a once-off financial rebate by offering a discount to customers who bring their own cups and/or by providing compostable takeaway coffee cups and lids.

City of Adelaide Councillor Sandy Verschoor, who initiated the project, said that it would help to address the waste generated by takeaway coffees.

"It’s estimated that Australians use up to one billion disposable takeaway hot beverage containers each year.

"There is currently confusion about whether these cups can be recycled due to the thin plastic lining, and potential for residual liquids to soil recycled materials. As a result, the majority end up in waste bins or as litter. Coffee cups make up a significant portion of waste in city litter bins.

"Most cafes welcome customers who bring their own reusable cup and a growing number will provide a discount to those that do. The trial will test incentive-based payments to encourage sustainable business practices within the pilot area, including cafes offering discounts for reusable cups.

"The availability and cost effectiveness of compostable food and drink packaging has improved in recent years and South Australia is a leader in commercial organic composting. The rebate will help support businesses in the pilot area to give compostable cup products a try.

"We’ll be visiting all the café owners in the pilot area over the next few weeks to talk to them about how they can take part. Customers will know if their favourite café is part of the trial as there will be posters on display."

To address community confusion, the pilot project will investigate the feasibility of standardised labelling for compostable and recyclable cups.

"I would encourage businesses and customers to get on board. Together we can work towards reducing waste from single use packaging," said Councillor Verschoor.

Find out more about the City of Adelaide's Compostable and Reusable Coffee Cup Pilot.

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