Torquay roastery axes single-use cups
A popular Torquay coffee roastery has ditched disposable cups in a bold move aimed at decreasing waste along Surf Coast beaches.
Ocean Grind officially stopped serving takeaway coffees out of plastic cups in August – a decision business owner Mark Clatworthy said was a no-brainer.
“It’s like people want it, but if business owners aren’t doing it, disposable cups get used.
“For us, making that decision was about the bigger picture for our brand. We care about our environment and the coast. It’s about the long-term goals we want to achieve for sustainability and our impact on the environment.”
Mark said he believed informing existing customers five weeks before implementing the change gave people enough time to consider alternative options.
But with people’s potential apprehensiveness playing on his mind, Mark knew he would also have to make the shift a smooth process for those affected.
It was here that Mark decided to introduce the HuskeeCup swap and go system. This new process sees customers bring in a dirty HuskeeCup which is then replaced with a clean one.
By using either a HuskeeCup or another reusable cup, patrons slice 50 cents off their order. He said Ocean Grind is also operating a mug library which allows customers to borrow a cup if they forget their own.
“The response has been really positive. The tricky bit is our existing customers knew it was coming, but new customers are expecting a disposable cup.
“It’s a matter of explaining it to them. Most of them choose to dine in instead and aren’t cornered into having to buy one.
“We’ve been trying to increase the usage of reusable cups, and we had it up by about 50 to 60 per cent. But I felt that if the fall-back option of the paper cup is there, then people will get lazy about it and still use them.”
Mark said his team of six staff are doing a “great job” in explaining to customers why disposable cups have been sent packing. He also said Ocean Grind was saving around 1,000 cups and lids per week from ending up in landfill, waterways or the ocean.
“I was always heading this way and it was always a matter of when but you still have that worry of ‘are we going to lose business?’, but to finally draw that line in the sand… it really felt good to say this is what we are doing and these are our options.”
Ocean Grind is looking into retub – a reusable container system – for its takeaway food offerings.