Changing our Coffee Culture

What does Beatrix Potter’s favorite bunny and a yowling fowl have in common? They fuel our sleep deprived lifestyle and deplete our dwindling budgets. CBL could stand for Coffee becomes Life, and newly introduced CBCL definitely requires the double shot to survive.

However, recent media attention has condemned coffee connoisseurs for their contribution to land fill, and often without their knowledge. Take away coffee cups and single serving coffee pods are the major culprits, particularly due to the misconception that take away cups can be recycled. However, the amount of environmental destruction a seemingly miraculous drink can produce is merely an example of irresponsible drinking (of a different variety), rather than an unavoidable toll.

Australians throw away approximately 1 billion coffee cups per year; these end up in land fill due to the non-recyclable polyethylene lining required for waterproofing. But, just like plastic bags, we can replace these with reusable cups. It’s not a new idea. Keep it Cups, Cheekis, Frank’s Green and Kleen Kanteen are just a few examples of companies that produce recyclable, non-leaking coffee cups. Plastic cups are available for convenience as well as glass for superior flavor. Some designs can even pay wave from a designated coffee fund, or are designed like R2D2. A Keep it Cup takes 15 uses to offset so make sure you don’t lose it during that period.


ABCs recent series War on Waste highlights the waste produced in Melbourne everyday.


Drinking from a reusable cup won’t just warm your conscience, but can also save you cash. The responsible café initiative was created to encourage cafes to promote the use of reusable coffee cups. Cafés provide discounts on coffees for those using responsible cups. Discounts range from 20 cents to a $1, which may not seem like much, but when you think how exciting it is to get that 10th coffee free, well, this is the exact equivalent. And that’s without having to cram 50 different rewards cards into your wallet.


Tips for Young Players

  • Label your reusable coffee cup with your name and beverage of choice. This helps the barista at the 9am rush and ensures you get what you order.
  • Choose to “Drink In” rather than take away. If anything, this is an opportunity to catch up with a friend, have two minutes to yourself, or read the newest, riveting Invision Article.
  • If you have to get a takeaway cup, the lid is recyclable, but the cup itself will need to go in the general waste.


Nespresso pod drop off points are closer than you might think!


For those who wake up early enough for their coffee fix in the comfort of their own home, coffee pods can be equally destructive. It is estimated that three million coffee pods are used per day in Australia, and unfortunately, they are not recyclable in the household system. However, there are other methods to recycle these containers. I had long thought that the only place to recycle a Nespresso pod was back at the city shop, and wasn’t pleased at the idea of lugging a bag of heavy and wet pods with me to Uni. But, Nespresso has partnered up with local florists to provide convenient drop off point all over the country. There are no excuses on placement either as sites are available at Port Lincoln, Claire, Mount Gambier, Whyalla and Port Augusta.

So, I would disagree with every liver lecturer and their obligatory dig on the beverages that we binge on most. Coffee will always be on the agenda every day. Luckily, we are all trained communicators, so let me present some feedback on coffee consumption in constructive form

Most people want to do the right thing by the environment (positive)

But our coffee habits are currently producing a stack of land fill and polluting natural habitats, often without our knowledge. (Negative)

But, there are simple actions we can take to avoid this, we just need to make them more accessible (Positive)

Wow, what a feedback sandwich to enjoy with your conscientious coffee.


For more information please visit:

Nespresso Drop Off Points:


Written by Jo Richards