Published on October 20th, 2017 By Joshua Holliday
Having just launched our very own line of Reusable Coffee Cups, I’ve been curious to see how Sydney is taking to the Reusable Revolution. A global trend that is seeing coffee drinkers around the world ditch non-disposable cups for a more sustainable alternative.
So, after teaming up with friend of The Developing Clean Jack Carter, we hit the streets to conduct our own mini survey. We visited coffee shops around the city. Our goal was to get an understanding of how many coffee drinkers owned a reusable cup and what was motivating them to break old habits.
We both deliberately chose areas that attracted very different demographics. Jack headed to Newtown, a free-spirited neighbourhood home to dozens of artisan coffee shops on the outskirts of the city centre. I chose the CBD, full of 9-5 office workers almost all of which commuting into the city from the outer suburbs. Here’s what we found…
Bursting with creatives, students and young professionals, I was sure to find plenty of coffee drinkers in Newtown that were tuned into the benefits of reusable coffee cups.
My first visit was to Brewtown, a large coffee house just off King Street. As I said before, I was expecting the number of customers who owned reusable cups in this neck of the woods to be high. I was blown away when the barista said that this accounted to 60% of its customers. As one of Newtown’s most popular coffee joints, that’s massive. We asked why that percentage was so high. He thought that while the $0.50 discount offered to those that own reuseable coffee cups helped. The incentive to help the planet by reducing unnecessary waste was greater. Amazing!
Next up was Shenkin, a mini ‘grab-and-go’ espresso bar a little further down King Street. Surely this place wasn’t going to beat Brewtown’s 60%. Well, guess what. It did. An awesome 70% of customers fill their reusable cups with Shenkin’s espresso every day. As well as rewarding its customers with a $0.50 discount, like Brewtown, Shenkin sells its own reusable cups. They are displayed at the front of the cafe and, according to the barista, they have been selling very well over the last few months.
I hit another three coffee shops in Newtown that day, including Get Fresh, Milk Bar & Grill, and The Front Room on Enmore Street. While the findings weren’t quite as high as Brewtown and Shenkin, the Reusable Revolution is, without a doubt, live and kicking here in Newtown.
In the Sydney CBD there are hundreds of cafes. It would take a decent chunk of time to get around to all of them. Although, as I got a bit of momentum going that is just what I wanted to do. I enjoyed talking to the baristas, managers, and owners of these cafes on the topic of reusable coffee cups so much that I just didn’t want to stop!
There were plenty of topics that came up that I had never even thought to discuss. For instance, some cafes find it really difficult to keep the coffee orders in check with all the different cups they’re using now. There are cafes like Fossix, that are offering discounts for reusable cups and, as a result, are attracting new customers from rival coffee shops. These guys were the only ones I ran into offering a discount in the city. They estimated that they were serving 5x as many customers with reusable cups a day than any other cafe.
It is interesting to note that all the cafes I visited were well aware of the reusable revolution. Particularly in the last six months since the War On Waste show came out on ABC. For us, this is really great news and we are so pleased to be witnessing this level of awareness unfold.
Thank you to anyone who is using one of our reusable cups, or any other reusable cup for that matter! You are an inspiration and are making a difference in the Reusable Revolution!.