Sydney is offering coffee lovers a treat to cut down on the city’s wastefulness

You might not give much thought to the number of coffee cups you throw in the garbage every year. But let’s think about it for a second.

How many coffee cups do you think end up in the trash over the course of one year, in a city like Sydney?

According to Lord Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney, the city generates a whopping 100 million discarded coffee cups every year. And each one of those will take about 50 years to decompose.

So how would all those cups add up after several decades? In case you haven’t had your coffee today, allow me to do the math for you. It would add up to — uh, a lot of cups (okay, I haven’t had coffee yet either).

In recognition of this, Sydney is now taking steps to curtail this wasteful phenomenon.

The City of Sydney is officially supporting a campaign against coffee cup waste, by the name of ‘Responsible Cafes’. The organisation has been signing up cafes all over Australia, trying to encourage people to bring their own coffee cups instead of using disposable ones.

Cafes that sign on with Responsible Cafes offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup. And in return, Responsible Cafes adds them to a searchable map, for people looking to find the nearest cafe offering the discount.

Founder Justin Bonsey says there are more than 2,500 cafes in Australia offering the discount. According to Bonsey, “It’s great for our pocketbooks, great for cafes to bring in new customers and great for the planet.”

Now that the campaign has official support from the City of Sydney, it will receive funding via Sydney’s program of “knowledge exchange sponsorships”.

The city has a history of supporting groups like Responsible Cafes. It previously provided funding to Closed Loop, which installs special bins for coffee cups in office buildings, with the aim of recycling them.

So do you want to get a discount on your coffee? Of course you do.

Check out the searchable map on the Responsible Cafes website to find your closest cafe.

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