Inner West Independent

Leichhardt locals campaign to ‘kickstart’ BYO Coffee Cup after COVID cup confusion

Leichhardt locals are hosting a campaign to kickstart the habitual use of reusable coffee cups, a service which was paused by many cafes and restaurants due to COVID. Photo: Supplied.


Locals are campaigning to challenge the people of Leichhardt to use reusable coffee cups for ten days from the 1st to the 10th of December.

Darina Wallace, a Leichhardt local involved with the campaign told the people of Leichhardt to dust off their keep cups, take an extra ten minutes to sit in, or use the “swop & go” system available in Leichhardt to break up with the cup.

Wallace and team were inspired by the BYO Coffee Cup initiative set up by author, minimalist and philanthropist Sarah Wilson and Bru Coffee with the aim to get as many cafes as possible in Bondi to ban takeaway cups in the first week of December.

The week was originally set for July and postponed to December due to COVID restrictions.

“Reusable cups or BYO cups at cafes during lockdowns or any other time are not illegal,” said Wilson.

“The science says reusable cups are as safe as single-use during a COVID outbreak or any other time.”

She said the impression during COVID was that there is a risk entailed, or that it’s illegal to use/serve them.

A statement from Victorian Federal Health and Environment Ministers Greg Hunt and Sussan Ley clarified the need to respect small businesses and their pressures due to COVID.

“At this time, we need to respect the pressures that small businesses like coffee shop owners and their staff will be under, while also remaining conscious of the problems disposable coffee cups present for the environment.

“Respect where they are for the moment either way and commit to a permanent change to keep cups when restrictions are removed.”

There is no specific advice from the Department of Health in relation to the use of reusable coffee cups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many cafes and restaurants made the individual decision not to use reusable cups to maintain sound hygiene standards and reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Businesses may resume accepting reusable cups as the COVID-19 situation improves, at their discretion.

Darina Wallace and her son. Photo: Supplied.

Leichhardt led

Leichhardt cafes accepting BYO cups include Ragamuffin, Cafe Mezzapica, Excelsior Mojo, Wellco cafe, Alegria Lane, Adri’s Cocina, Donut King, Wayne’s Place, Leichhardt Municipal Café, the Carpenter, Flood Street Carousel, Sonoma Baking Company, Bar Italia and Creek and Cella.

“As our campaign has been set up by the public and not the cafes, the campaign is an opportunity to re-educate the public on the safety of BYO in a COVID environment,” Darina Wallace told the Independent.

“It’s about reminding people that we don’t have to contribute to the 1 billion coffee cups sent to landfill each year, by simply bringing our own. And it’s about kickstarting good habitual behaviour that we saw before the pandemic.”

The Leichhardt BYO Cup Week team includes Kim Akurst, Joy Chapman, Lorraine Cherry- Nguyen, Meredith Cranmer, Ursula Hartwig, Michelle Nashaty, Darina Wallace, Eva Wong.

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