Today’s Solutions: March 23, 2023

People’s strong love for coffee, combined with our western society’s throwaway culture, sends an overwhelming amount of waste to landfills, putting a serious strain on the environment. And while finding a sustainable alternative to the disposable coffee cup has proved difficult, the ultimate solution is both simple and complicated: don’t offer single-use cups anymore. The complicated part is convincing customers to change their behaviors and go for the reusable cup option.

So far, coffee shops have been reluctant to put serious efforts into finding viable solutions, mainly out of fear of losing potential clients. Thankfully, however, some have been more devoted to the cause, with more and more local independent shops and cafes implementing reusable cup programs.

Take Blue Bottle Coffee, for instance, which has recently announced upcoming changes on a pretty big scale. The chain has pledged to make all of its US cafes zero waste by 2020, which could divert at least 90 percent of their waste from landfills. On top of that, the company will also be testing a zero-single-use-cup program in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What’s particularly notable is that the initiative is taking shape under Nestlé’s umbrella, which owns a 68 percent stake of Blue Bottle, putting direct pressure on the corporation to do more to end its reliance on single-use plastics.

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