Recent figures show Australians use an estimated 10 million plastic straws every day, most of which end up in our oceans, polluting the water and endangering marine life. Just last year snorkelers removed 2,500 plastic straws from Manly Cove, illustrating the scale of the problem. It comes to no surprise then that last year the Australian senate proposed a nationwide ban of single-use plastics to be enforced by 2023, just four years away.
This has potentially significant implications for businesses that heavily rely on single-use plastics during day to day operations. It may seem daunting and costly to remove all single-use items from your café or restaurant. However, if you implement simple changes combined with adopting a sustainability first approach, there are many ways in which businesses can not only help the environment by cutting plastic waste but also cut costs and increase sales.
Most cafés and restaurants use them; single use bottles, throwaway coffee cups, disposable food containers, plastic cutlery, straws, plastic bags and so on. Businesses can be successful and profitable without all these items, yet most continue to use them as they are perceived to be more convenient and cost effective to more environmentally friendly alternatives.
It’s simple and cost effective to offer more durable and biodegradable items for your customers. Wooden cutlery, degradable food containers, paper straws, paper bags and recyclable paper cups are not only biodegradable they are only marginally more expensive than their plastic cousins. If you offer these your business has an opportunity to add more value to the customer. As people become more educated and sensitive to the damage single-use plastic has on our environment they are willing to spend more on businesses that are sustainable.
1 in 3 Australians say they would rather buy an ethical or sustainable product, and by removing your reliance on plastic you can promote the fact that you are single-use plastic free. You already see the growing trend with cafés across Australia working with Schulz Organic Dairy to have organic milk delivered and decanted into reusable glass bottles. The removal of plastic within the supply chain is becoming more and more popular.
Purezza Premium Water has similarly encouraged venues throughout Australia to switch from pre-packed water to water that is freshly filtered on-site and served sparkling or still in beautiful, reusable, glass bottles.This not only reduces the environmental damage but also helps venues eliminate the need for delivery, handling, transportation and waste management associated with a pre-packaged water offer.
With 7.5m straws across US beaches, New York City, Hawaii and California have enforced bans outlawing plastic straws following the example set by Strawless in Seattle. It doesn’t just stop at straws as Los Angeles has introduced a $0.10 single-use plastic bag surcharge, resulting in a 94% drop in consumption.
In the United Kingdom, Starbucks rolled out a nationwide latte levy of 5 pence ($0.08) on single-use cups. The effort seeks to cut disposable coffee cup wastage following a successful trial period and spurred a 150% increase in reusable cup sales. Sales of reusable cups continue to soar, with Argos selling 537% more in 2017 than any previous years and the reusable coffee cup brand ECoffee Cup reported a 700% surge in sales of cups made with natural bamboo fibres.
With 27% Australians having a daily dependence on coffee and a shift driven by consumer appetite for businesses that support an environmental purpose, businesses that do not make changes to match consumer trends are at risk of becoming irrelevant to customers.
It’s clear to see the Australian food and beverage industry is waking up to profit opportunities available through taking an anti-waste stance. Responsible Cafés has signed up over 4,500 establishments in its bid to remove disposable cups from Australia’s coffee culture, where customers bring their own cup to enjoy discounted coffee.
As one-third of all consumers seek sustainable minded businesses, you have an opportunity to make simple changes to enhance your brand reputation while engaging eco-friendly customers, translating to a multi-billion-dollar opportunity. With Purezza Premium Water venues have a profitable and eco-friendly path when offering still or sparkling water. Take a step towards removing single-use bottles from your venue and contact one of our Purezza experts today.