Helping cafes form the habit of reusable cups

Single-use is so 2020!

They say it takes takes 21 days to form a new habit… and what better habit can we get into than ditching the single-use and using reusables!

This inspired us to trial a new campaign with one of our Plastic Free Champion cafes - @buncoffee. From the 8 - 29 January (that’s 21 days in case you’re wondering) we worked with Bun Coffee to supercharge and normalise the number of customers using reusables, culminating in #UseYourOwnCupDay on Friday 29 January! 🙌⠀


The goal was to see the percentage of reusables increase each week as their awesome customers started to form the new habit of reuse.

On #UseYourOwnCupDay, we worked with them towards achieving the highest number reusable cups possible.


As part of the campaign, we worked with Bun to encourage and support their customers to increase reusables by:

  • displaying “Reusables Preferred Here” posters so that customers felt comfortable to BYO.

  • holding a competition with prizes for repeat customers who who were the most consistent at using their own cups.

  • implementing a mug library for customers to borrow a mug and return it on their next visit.

  • continuing to offer a 50c discount for reusables.

  • promoting reusables for other items than just takeaway coffees.

  • promoting their efforts (and that of their customers) on social media.


Whilst data was not gathered from their POS, improvements were obvious amongst both staff and customers. With Bun having a high portion of regular and local customers, momentum was easy to build over the three weeks. Bun reported that a number of regular customers have made the switch across to reusables cups, eliminating their daily single-use habit.

Not only this, but also the number of customers bringing along their own jars when purchasing Bun’s on-site roasted coffee beans increased.

Follow up from the campaign suggested very positive results amongst the community, with many more daily regulars converting from single-use to reusables as a consequence of the increased attention to this issue.


“Talking to our customers and especially our regulars, we're loving that they are trying hard to always bring their own cup. We've definitely seen an increase in reusable cups, and by us taking the opportunity to set up a mug library, we have seen those numbers further increase”

“A huge thanks to everyone who takes that extra time to wash and remember their cup each day….you're truly making a difference….one cup at a time!”

“Thanks to ‘Make the Switch Byron’s’ support, we've been able to continue to drive the 'Use your Own' cup and container for both coffee and beans to take home.”


Across Australia, 2.7 million single-use throwaway cups are discarded every day. They cannot be recycled in kerbside collections due to their plastic lining. They contaminate the recycling stream, end up in landfill, or worse, in our environment.

Our throwaway culture devalues all of us... everything and everyone 😢. We want to build a reuse culture and show that reuse is possible and more beneficial than single-use to businesses and our communities.

The concept of a ‘Use Your Own Cup Day’ was inspired by UYO.NZ which started in New Zealand in 2018 and we’re excited to bring it to Australia. We ran this campaign in each of our Plastic Free Places communities (Adelaide, Perth, Cairns, Townsville and Byron Bay).


We’ve been so blown away by the feedback and are now developing a toolkit so other cafes can follow suit, increase their use of reusables, reduce their costs and the impacts their business and customers have on our environment.

We each have the opportunity to make positive changes this year, we just have to make a start. ⁣We believe BYO reusables shouldn't just be one day of the year, it needs to be every day.. we just need to create the habit!