Coffee shops join reusable cups scheme

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Coffee & Fandisha. Pic © JMU Journalism

Coffee shops in town are backing a new initiative which aims to cut down on plastics by introducing reusable cups.

In the UK alone, it is said that we use seven million disposable coffee holders every day, which adds up to 2.5 billion every year.

Though they are made largely of paper, such disposable items are lined with plastic polyethylene, which is tightly bonded to the paper to them waterproof. However, the plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, leading to environmental damage.

The UK Government is said to be looking to introduce a ‘latte levy’, which is a 25p tax on each disposable cup taken from a coffee shop. This will be either be passed on to the customer or will have to be absorbed by independent businesses.

The reusable Colu Cup, which can be ‘borrowed’, has been introduced in four coffee outlets in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle: Coffee & Fandisha, Fodder Canteen, The Baltic Roastery by 92 and Siren.

YouTube: Chantelle McKeever

Customers pay a £2 deposit to ‘the merchant account via the Colu app, and the cup is theirs to use for as long as they like.

The scheme allows you to return the beaker and receive your deposit back. Alternatively, you can keep hold of it and exchange it for a clean one in any of the four shops with your next coffee.

Each reusable cup can be filled more than 400 times, as they are durable and dish-washable. They are also fully recyclable.

Kimberley Sowah, director of Coffee & Fandisha, told JMU Journalism: “We got involved in the project, mainly because as a business one of our core values is to be as sustainable as possible; to be proactive in looking after the environment we live in by preventing waste and encouraging recycling in as many areas as we can.

“I think it’s important for all businesses to help tackle the problem, not just small businesses.”

About Chantelle McKeever, JMU Journalism