Paper cups lined with cornstarch rather than plastic and with either a recyclable PET plastic or compostable cornstarch lid. The cornstarch cup and lid will completely break down into compost.
Recently I was travelling and purchased some takeaway coffee and started to feel bad for not taking my own cup. As a University student for many years I have seen how much waste is produced by fast food vendors and was very happy to see the use of BioCup. Intrigued, I decided to do some research and came across an article on the Bega coffee shop ‘Cafe Evolve‘ [once known as the Niagara Cafe] in the Businesses Treading Lightly (BTL) website. What a wonderful idea to involve Sacred Grounds Fair-Trade coffee supplier and make an impact on cafes around the country, not just in your own town. Kudos to Cafe Evolve & Voodoo Coffee their supplier of Sacred Grounds.
Bega Café influences supply chain
It started with a take away coffee cup left behind by a customer.
Anna Leaman and Peter Haggar of Niagara Café [now known as Cafe Evolve] in Bega were interested in using fully biodegradable cups and when a customer left a compostable cup on the tables, they decided to investigate.
Anna says the first suppliers they approached offered options too expensive to contemplate. Then they found a company called BioPak biopak.com.au which could supply paper cups lined with cornstarch rather than plastic and with either a recyclable PET plastic or compostable cornstarch lid. The cornstarch cup and lid will completely break down into compost. Anna says they currently take home all food scraps from the coffee shop and compost them and will do the same with any compostable cups or other biodegradable products left behind by customers.
The café owners then approached their coffee supplier, Sacred Grounds, to see if they could supply the cups. “Sacred Grounds already supply fair trade, organic coffee so we thought it would fit with their image and philosophy,” said Anna.
Sacred Grounds, a brand supplied by Voodoo Coffee Company voodoocoffeeco.com not only undertook to supply the cups but will be able to supply all their retail customers with these cups within 6 months. Not only is Scared Grounds improving their offering but the local distributer, seeing an opportunity, contacted BioPak to become a distributor. Food outlets in Bega and surrounds will now be able to choose biodegradable straws, milkshake containers, cutlery, catering trays and take away salad boxes. For business it is also important to keep an eye on the bottom line. “And these cups only cost a couple of cents per cup more,” said Anna.
BTL can help: If you want information about biodegradable take away containers and cups call BTL Toll Free on 1800 187 729 or Sustainability Officer Vickie Williamson on 0401 674 762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org