The announcement comes as Ona Coffee enters its 12th year and follows the conversion to solar energy of its headquarters and roastery in Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory.

“The effects of climate change are real. With the bushfires and other environmental disasters across Australia, we feel that now is the time to act. For this reason and many others, our team has decided to stop using single-use takeaway cups in the future,” Ona Coffee Founder Sasa Sestic says.

“For many of us, when we go to our local café we order a takeaway cup and move on with our busy lives. I know that some café owners try to do right thing by purchasing recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable takeaway cups – but what if we did not use them at all?

“I understand that it is not an easy process, and that we can’t just stop serving single-use cups overnight. A movement like this will require support from industry, café owners, and most importantly, the individuals that are ordering and drinking coffee. There are over 2.9 million takeaway paper cups used in Australia every single day. How incredible would it be if instead of leaving this problem for future generations to deal with, we took ownership and made a difference now?”

Ona Coffee #giveupthecup single-use cups
Sasa Sestic is the Founder of Ona Coffee and 2015 World Barista Champion.

Ona Coffee Marketing Manager Jordan Montgomery says that this new initiative is part of a long-term project to make the business more sustainable and encourage change in the wider community.

“The use of single-use products has been a contentious subject in both public and industry sectors for several years,” Jordan says.

“The emergence of more reusable products and cup-swap programs such as KeepCup, Green Caffeen, Huskee, and ReturnR have provided viable alternatives to these single-use products. We don’t have any excuse not to use them anymore, and the ongoing use of single use products will continue to harm the planet.”

In the last 12 months, Ona Coffee supplied more than 2.7 million takeaway cups to its customers across Australia. Sasa says that the staggering figure of cups shocked management and staff alike, prompting the movement to eliminate single-use cups.

“We sat down as a team and discussed ways in which we could reduce this number of cups, including finding more recyclable alternatives. Not long ago we made the switch to paper cups, which were fully recyclable in the ACT and New South Wales. But with the recent fires across the east coast of Australia, these facilities have been affected,” he says.

“Although there are some more recyclable and biodegradable alternatives for single-use cups, we see the problem being more with the single-use culture. We want to set an example and show that reusable cups can and should be the standard in Australia.”

Ona Coffee General Manager Tom Beaumont says that the swap to reusable-only cups in the company’s operation is part of an inevitable change in the community.

“Current momentum in the coffee industry is pointing towards the restriction of, or end of, single-use products and people are already taking this into their own hands” Tom says.

Ona Coffee #giveupthecup single-use cups
The last paper cups Ona will distribute, as they are phased out from its operations, will carry the message ‘no more single use cups’ and the #giveupthecup hashtag.

“Ultimately, individual behaviour is the biggest drive behind change, and we believe that the end of the single use cup is achievable.”

Ona Coffee will begin the roll out of their new initiative with the opening of their latest venue, Ona Coffee Melbourne in April 2020. Following this, Tom says Ona Coffee will continue to work with other venues and customers to make the switch to reusable cups.

“We have already seen many of our customers employing reusable alternatives to single-use cups, and some have already entirely removed these cups from their cafés,” he says.

“We want to build this momentum and make this change a national one, in the interest of our planet and its future.”

Sasa says Ona Coffee is working on options and alternatives that will be attractive for café owners and also customers so they can happily welcome this initiative.

“Although Ona coffee is only supplying a small amount of the takeaway cups used in Australia, our goal is that by acting together and having everyone in our industry supporting this initiative and also individuals we can make this change,” Sasa says.

“We want to set an example and show that reusable cups can and should be the standard in Australia. It’s time to #giveupthecup.”

 

Originally published by Beanscene Magazine.