Café blessed by drink­ing de­ci­sion

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS - COOKSLEY

YACKAN­DAN­DAH’S Saint Mon­day café has a big­ger han­dle on take­away cof­fee af­ter it stocked up on ce­ramic mugs.

In a quest to be waste-free, café own­ers Chris McGor­lick and Lau­ren Salathiel – who close to two years ago cre­ated their eth­i­cal busi­ness around life­style, com­mu­nity, so­cial jus­tice and en­vi­ron­men­tal val­ues – have ex­panded their ex­ist­ing small re­us­able mug stocks to com­bat the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of waste dis­posal.

To en­cour­age pa­trons to do the same they’ve in­tro­duced a sur­charge for drinks served in dis­pos­able cups.

Mr McGor­lick said the move fol­lowed his dis­cov­ery that the com­post fa­cil­ity used by Indigo Shire through its waste con­trac­tor did not work for the “com­postable” take­away cups the café used.

“We can’t con­tinue to use the cups in good con­science,” he said.

“We’ve stepped up a notch to com­pletely do away with dis­pos­able cups and have in­creased our ce­ramic mugs sourced from op­por­tu­nity shops in the area.”

With dis­pos­able cups dumped in land­fill that emit green­house gases while de­com­pos- ing, or end up as lit­ter on streets and in water­ways, Mr McGor­lick said most peo­ple deemed the cafe’s project could make small changes for the bet­ter.

“Peo­ple’s habits don’t change over the counter – it takes time see­ing peo­ple do­ing the right thing,” he said.

The pair com­mit­ted to the change in early sum­mer and wanted to give their cus­tomers as much time as pos­si­ble for the idea to be­come sec­ond-na­ture.

“We’ll bend over back­wards to make sure peo­ple still feel that buy­ing a take-away from us re­mains con­ve­nient – mi­nus the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact,” Mr McGor­lick said.

With about two thirds of the 50 cent sur­charge on dis­pos­able cups do­nated to ‘Clean Up Aus­tralia Day,’ the re­main­der would help re­place un­re­turned ce­ramic mugs.

The ABC’s re­cent ‘War on Waste’ doc­u­men­tary es­ti­mated that Aus­tralians used one bil­lion dis­pos­able cof­fee cups an­nu­ally with around 90 per­cent go­ing into land­fill.

Mr McGor­lick said the doc­u­men­tary men­tioned that only around 10 dis­posal fa­cil­i­ties around Aus­tralia could process them.

Al­though there would be a so­lu­tion in the long-term, he said Saint Mon­day café had taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for an im­me­di­ate prob­lem.

A small back-up of dis­pos­ables is avail­able to meet some cus­tomer needs un­til a fu­ture move is made to elim­i­nate the cups al­to­gether.

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