Let's bring back reusables in 2021

By Clare Sullivan, Plastic Free Byron Coordinator

Single-use is so 2020!

January is traditionally the month to start new habits, a time to let go of old behaviours and set some solid goals for the year ahead.

The year that was 2020 has shown us that our collective health is a priority, but as a result our ‘eco’ health habits took a nose-dive. Despite reusables consistently shown to be safe to use in the pandemic, single-use plastics reared their ugly head with a vengeance.

Now it's time to claim back the traction that reusables once had.

For this reason, our goal is to start 2021 with a focus on reusables. Our current throwaway culture devalues all of us... everything and everyone 😢. We want to build a reuse culture and to highlight that reuse is possible and more beneficial than single-use to businesses and our communities.

As a way of getting things started, in each of our Plastic Free Places communities (Adelaide, Perth, Cairns, Townsville and Byron Bay) we have chosen at least one cafe to run a pilot reusables campaign with. Over the month of January we’ll work alongside these cafes to measure the usage of reusables within their business with the goal to increase the percentage of customers using reusables each week.

The cafes will build up to ‘Use Your Own Cup Day’ on the 29 January. This will occur after 3 weeks of sustained customer engagement, in-store conversations and the promotion of a ‘reusables scoreboard’ to illustrate how many single-use cups have been prevented.

Some cafes are choosing to go 100% single-use free for the day, with some also providing free coffees and giveaways to the customers most successful in remembering their reusables. The pilot will trial new ways to encourage reusables, working alongside business owners and their community.

Use Your Own Cup Day started in New Zealand in 2018 by UYO.NZ and we’re excited to help bring it to Australia. On the 29 January 2021 a diverse bunch of cafes from around Australia and New Zealand will be coming together to celebrate reusable cups.

And while the pilot is planned for January, we will look to continue this with more cafes, and our hope is that it will expand beyond in the months & years to come.

We each have the individual opportunity to make some incredibly positive changes this new year, we just have to make a start.

Keep an eye on our community Instagram accounts @plastic.free.sa, @plasticfreetownsville, @plasticfreecairns, @plasticfreebyron and @waplasticfree to keep track of our progress.

And if you'd like to know more or be involved, please contact us.


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