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The truth about reusables during a pandemic

The panic of COVID 19 has led to many cafes strictly serving out of single-use takeaway cups and containers. This issue has become a huge worry to the environment as since COVID hit, it has felt like all the progress that had been made has been put to a standstill and the clock is ticking backwards. In saying that, despite all the effort from cafes to provide ‘safe’ options for consumers, not much is actually known about the ability of disposable cutlery and cups in the deterrence of COVID.

Here’s some info to inform you during these trying times:

The Evidence

  • In July of this year mid pandemic, ‘119 experts from across the globe signed a statement, concluding reusable containers posed no threat to the public during the pandemic.
  • Greenpeace claimed that ‘there is no reason cups, bottles and jars cannot be used as long as they are thoroughly washed, but retailers should adopt "contact-free" systems for customers' reusable bags and cups.
  • Single-use cups were not an answer to the concern of contact contamination as alike the countless objects we encounter daily they can still harbor viruses and bacteria ‘from manufacture, transport, inventory stocking, and eventual use.’

What you can do as a consumer

Navigating the world of sustainable thinking isn’t as hard as you think.

  • When going for your daily coffee, swapping something as little as a single use paper cup with your beloved KeepCup can have the compounded effect of normalising reuse culture while also maybe saving you a couple of yen on your daily coffee!
  • At the grocery store bringing a reusable grocery bag that you pack yourself is a contact free and safe way to both reuse and avoid excess contamination.
  • When getting takeaway food skip the offer of single use utensils and opt up to bring your own from home.
  • By being conscious of the impact we have on the environment and curbing our compliance with convenience culture we can all make a difference together.

What you can do as a cafe owner

Now onto the flip side we have cafe owners and establishments.

  • We can start off by the simple act of allowing reusable cups and cutlery. Not only is it good for the environment but will also save you more money as a business in the long run
  • If the budget of the cafe allows it, switching from paper cups to compostable recycled cups
  • Consider a discount or loyalty program for customers that reuse, this will push the initiative towards the consumer as well as presenting the cafe's stance on eco friendly consumption.

For more information read our extended article here!  “Reuse during a pandemic ”.

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