City of Melbourne Source Reduction Plan

Following the Source Reduction Plan workshop in May 2017, the City of Melbourne wanted to reduce single use coffee cups being used in the City of Melbourne area. Participants also wanted to gain insight into the reasons people don’t use BYO coffee cups to inform alternative approaches to reducing this form of litter.

In order to engage the most number of people quickly, this project aimed to sign up local cafes to the Responsible Cafes program. This established network provides them free promotion for offering customers a discount for using their own BYO coffee cup. 49 cafes were engaged about the program, and 13 signed up (although 2 were too late to gather data for this project).

After a month of becoming a “Responsible Café” the impact was measured by emailing a survey to ask them to estimate any change in BYO cups since signing up. Based on their estimation of increased customers using BYO coffee cups, a daily increase was calculated and multiplied to obtain estimate for full period each café was with Responsible Cafes over the project. Cafes reported via a follow up survey that they collectively saved 2154 disposable cups from landfill over the 3 months that the project was running.

A newspaper article, use of media kiosks and posters were effective awareness raising components that supported the project goals. A consumer survey was done to understand peoples’ reasons for using or not using BYO coffee cups. It found the biggest reason people did not want a BYO coffee cup was because it was too hard to carry. For those that did own a BYO cup, 44% always used it, 25% used it most of the time, 19% used it sometimes, and 12% never used it. People who bought their own cup were much more likely to use it than people who were given one.

To download the survey results click here.

This Source Reduction Plan was funded through Sustainability Victoria’s Litter Innovation Fund.

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