Why I’m Going Cold Turkey on Disposable Coffee Cups

As summer draws to close, if you’re anything like us, you’ll be trying to cram in those last minute beach days, taking good long walks in the park, and most likely drinking Coffee on the go. But the latter, has caused me to think this year.

About a week ago whilst on holiday, I took our Daughter out for a lovely morning stroll along the sea front, and on the way back to the car thought to myself ‘Hey, let’s be a good husband and arrive home with a couple of Flat White’s for my Wife and I’. Boom.

There was a Waitrose right by where I’d parked, so that seemed like the logical option.

Upon reaching the Cafe counter, our conversation did not go as planned.

Me: ‘Hi there, just 2 Flat Whites to take-away please.’

Barista (Looking apologetic): ‘Oh, do you have your own takeaway cup?’

Me: ‘No, sorry.’

Barista: ‘I’m afraid we don’t do take away cups anymore.’

Me: ‘Pardon?’

Barista: Sorry.

I then laughed it off and said oh ok no worries.

Walking away I thought to myself ‘I’m all for ditching plastic straws and packaging on fruit, but if I’m going to drink a coffee, I’ll be needing a Vessel.’

I’d love to say that my revelation dawned on me there and then, but truth be told it took a little longer than I would care to admit.

That’s a pretty ballsy move from Waitrose.

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Coffee is one of the biggest sellers in retail, with an incredibly high demand, and huge profit margins. To announce they’re ditching takeaway cups entirely. That’s a big deal.

I mean, it’s not really a decision they can go back on easily either, imagine if they now announced they were reintroducing take-away cups?

Truth be told, I was always of the assumption that take-away cups were recyclable, I mean after all, most have the recycling logo on.

Turns out 99.75% of coffee cups don’t get recycled. (This BBC Article might help explain why)

Wait, let’s just say that in a slightly larger font.

99.75% of take-away coffee cups DON’T get recycled.

That’s insane.

Let’s just talk numbers for a little longer, I don’t consider myself as a shed-load-of-coffee consumer (official term). But at work we do have a coffee machine, whereby a coffee costs me a mere 20p, of which I drink a shed-load. So maybe I am.

20p a drink, no-brainer. I use a take-away cup. Every. Single. Time

Then there’s the water fountain.

I use a plastic take-away cup. Every. Single. Time.

I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I might use 5. Yes, that’s embarrassing. Sometimes I even get a reusable cup to pour my tea into because it’s nicer to drink from than my flask. That is literally how little I have thought about this in the past.

You’re probably thinking ‘Why?’ Well the simple answer though, is because it’s quick and easy.

Ok, let’s add up those cups, for arguments sake that I only use 2 a day (but it is nearly always more), I work about 40 weeks a year.

400 a year. Minimum. Just from work.

That’s before we add on any weekend Nero’s, the tea I drink at church, holiday Coffees. I think it’s almost guaranteed that as a family we use over 1,000 disposable cups a year.

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If you need any more convincing, here’s some harrowing images of the Caribbean Sea.

So you’re probably thinking, isn’t this a website about Worship Songs? Well, yes. But what use is a song of worship if we don’t worship God with the rest of our actions.

This is about good stewardship, Justice, and simply being smart about our decisions.

So, what am I going to do about it? I thought about trying to put a number on how many I could cut down to, but realistically, I’m not interested in being able to say ‘I only wasted 200 cups this year’ or ‘I only wasted 50 cups this year’.

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So there’s only 1 option. Cold Turkey. I’ve ordered myself a Re-usable cup, and I’m going for a severe lifestyle change. It may only be a drop in the ocean, but it’s a drop I can control.

I realise this is a pretty big thing to say publicly, and I know there might come a time that I’ll fail, and likely someone will roll their eyes if they ever see me with a disposable cup. But let’s take this seriously.

Thank-you Waitrose.

Anyone else with me?

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