Main Image - Green Caffeen - taking aim at the billion coffee cups disposed annually

Green Caffeen - taking aim at the billion coffee cups disposed annually


Australians dispose of more than one billion takeaway coffee cups each year. Nearly a quarter of litter comes from disposable cups and food containers. Consequently, reusable cups have seen a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years globally. However, cafe owners today claim that typically only around 2% of all coffees sold are poured into the reusable cups. But when it comes to reusable cups, Australian coffee customers have the following five pain points: 

1. Forget to bring the keep-cup.
2. Forget to wash the cup.
3. Leave the cup in the car for days (and it smells).
4. Inconvenience of carrying a cup
5. Some baristas have also voiced concerns about the health and safety of using BYO cups.

Green Caffeen is a lllawarra-based startup with a mission to prevent disposable coffee cups from entering landfill. They have worked closely with the I-Accelerate Program at the UOW Innovation Campus to develop and launch Australia's first Swap & Go reusable coffee cup program. The Green Caffeen program is now in place in over 175 cafes up and down the East Coast with major expansion planned for 2019. We hope to see uni campuses as an important part of that expansion.

Green Caffeen's program provides reusable coffee cups to participating cafes and coffee outlets. These cups are available for program members to use when they buy a coffee. They take the cup away with them and return the dirty cup to another participating cafe when empty, or when they buy another coffee in a clean Green Caffeen cup. This is managed via scanning a phone-app.Customers sign up to be a member of the scheme via a monthly subscription. 

Consumers can feel part of a growing community of eco-conscious people determined to reduce waste, to reuse rather than throw away. Cafes participate in the scheme free of charge; all they have to do is receive the dirty cups and wash them (cheaper than buying single-use cups). The cafes can wear their eco-credentials on their sleeves and use the scheme to promote their cafe and build a Green reusable culture within. Waste collection and landfill charges will be reduced and the local area will reduce their carbon footprint. Organisations can promote their eco-credentials in the press and media and could have knock on benefits in starting new initiatives in other areas of sustainability.

Green Caffeen's simple app offers coffee consumers the opportunity to always have convenient access to a reusable coffee cup, The program also offer TAG members a chance to take leadership on the war on waste and provide their students and staff with a environmentally friendly alternative to single use coffee cups. 

Green Cafeen presented recently to the TAG Commercial Development Committee, in a joint meeting with ACTS (Australian Campuses Towards Sustainability). It is a really promising program and obviously the more outlets that jump on board the quicker we can create a social groundswell of users.

Apart from the obvious environmental benefits of the program, there are also commercial benefits;

  • getting in early so that your outlets become preferred locations for coffee drinkers to buy from on campus;
  • cost savings in a reduction of purchasing disposable coffee cups;
  • savings from reduced waste removal costs, as waste output is reduced;

The apps for the program are flexible, with some of their partnering cafes successfully integrating it to their pre-order coffee apps. The cups are also able to be branded with your organisational message or logo, for a cost.

It would be so great to TAG members take the leap and give it a trial! There are 4 options to get started – these are outlined on the presentation below. 

Registration, set up, delivery of cups and marketing collateral can all be ready within 48 hours! This means you could have your social media campaigns running and be set up in time for O Week. 

If anyone has any further questions feel free to contact Shahrin on [email protected] or on 0405 839 694.

Keep us in the loop if you are jumping on board so we can promote your cafes and campuses amongst our members!

Full details available below.