Taking your own cup to a café is a great step but needs a bit of admin and a good memory.
Kiwi roaster Havana Coffee Works knew that convenience, price and quality were critical to coffee lovers, but few were willing to pay more or go far out of their way to support a more sustainable cup solution.
Havana teamed up with packaging experts Again Again to create a returnable coffee cup system. Dubbed the Coffee Cup Library, customers at Havana cafés can check out an insulated stainless steel ‘loan’ cup, at no extra cost, in lieu of a disposable single-use cup.
All customers need to do is download the Again Again app, purchase a coffee from their chosen Havana supplied café, and tap their phone on the scan station at the till. They have two weeks to return the cup to any participating café around the country. After that they are charged a fee.
During the first two months of operation Havana is incentivising coffee drinkers to switch to returnable cups by making a donation of 50 cents to a local cause for every returnable coffee cup borrowed.
“Our goal is to create a zero-waste circular system that is convenient and simple for Kiwis to get behind,” says Havana Coffee Works Managing Director Stefan Gray.
“We hope to make a big reduction in the number of single use coffee cups that end up in landfill and to provide a sizable donation to local community causes.”
Serving a takeaway coffee in a disposable cup and lid is a cost for a café. Havana and Again Again have created a commercial model where cafés pay a per returnable cup serve cost. This cost per serve is cheaper than the cost of a single use cup.
The insulated cups also ensure the coffee drinker has a better takeaway coffee drinking experience as the coffee stays hot for longer and the mouthfeel of the cup is more like a ceramic cup used for dine-in coffees.
Prior to launching in October 2022 more than 75 cafés had signed up for the Coffee Cup Library initiative.