by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Melbourne, Australia : On Saturday, August 19, 2012, KeepCup was awarded the 2012 Melbourne Award for its contribution to sustainability. KeepCup was lauded for its efforts to change community behavior and inspire individuals and businesses to work towards making the city more sustainable. The City of Melbourne recognized KeepCup as an inspirational local business success story that demonstrated the growing demand for sustainable consumer products. In just three short years, KeepCups are sold in over 32 countries around the world. The City of Melbourne benefits through KeepCup's leadership in global efforts to reduce disposable consumables waste.
In her acceptance speech co-owner and founder Abigail Forsyth acknowledged the contribution of the City of Melbourne to KeepCup's success, beginning with a Small Business Development Grant in 2008. She also acknowledged the Laneways Project as instrumental in creating an atmosphere ripe for the entrance of a business like KeepCup, injecting new life into Melbourne’s coffee tradition, and enabling coffee businesses to grow and flourish.
She said: “We estimate that use of KeepCups sold to date will divert over 1 billion disposable cups, that is, over 40,000 tonnes of waste, from landfill. This represents about one million trees otherwise felled for three minutes of drinking pleasure. KeepCup is a design led solution and our core mission is reduction of disposable waste.”
“This seems like a lot until you consider that 1.5 trillion disposable cups will be manufactured and discarded over this period. We are a behavior change organization, KeepCup asks people to think about the way they consume and, through positive incremental change be emboldened to more equitably and effectively share the earth’s resources.”
“Receiving this award is a timely acknowledgment that many small acts can and do, make phenomenal difference. We hope Melburnians will take this to heart, as Melbourne hosts the World Barista Championships in May 2013, it is a wonderful opportunity to show off a city where you can get a fantastic coffee almost everywhere you go – hopefully consumed in a reusable. Melbourne’s continued commitment to sustainability at every level really enriches what it means to live in the world’s most liveable city.”
KeepCup is the only, if I am not mistaken, reusable cup, available in a couple of sizes, that actually fit under the machines in the coffee shops, as they are, and thus there is no need for the barista to decanter from one cup (often a disposable) to a person's reusable one.
All too often when people bring their own (travel) mugs to the coffee house the procedure is just that; the barista will take a disposable cup, make the coffee and then put it into the customer's reusable cup, resulting still in waste in the form of a disposable cup. Not so with the KeepCup and hence a “well done” to them all.