Harrogate cafe to ban disposable coffee cups
An award-winning independent Harrogate cafe is to ban disposable cups in a move believed to be the first of its kind in Yorkshire.
Taking a firm stand to support the fight against plastic waste, Baltzersen’s, the Scandinavian-inspired cafe on Oxford Street, has announced it will no longer offer serving takeaway hot drinks in disposable cups. In future customers will either have to bring their own reusable cup or purchase a reusable cup from a new range the cafe will have available in store for Â£10. The environmentally-friendly new system will not kick in until May 14 and there will be a grace period up to then where Baltzersen’s will continue to sell takeaway drinks in single use cups. Baltzersen’s owner Paul Rawlinson says businesses are big consumers and have a huge impact on the environment across a whole range of functions, so removing the option of disposable cups is “just a tiny improvement, but it all adds up.”The inspirational cafe owner admitted it was a big decision but he said it was vital all businesses played their part in the battle to prevent climate change.Paul said: "As a small single site rather than a chain it’s quite a big decision for us, but we know that the more widespread this becomes the easier it will be to change habits."This isn’t the cafe’s first sustainability scheme; in 2016 Baltzersen’s installed a free still and sparkling water font in the cafe which was recently added to the Refill app, an Ordnance Survey backed map that logs locations you can fill up your reusable water bottle for free.In March, the cafe stopped serving plastic straws with cold drinks as standard, opting instead to make paper straws available if required. After May 14, Baltzersen’s will be gifting their remaining disposable cups to another retailer and banning the use of non-reusable cups in the cafe for good.Baltzersen’s owner Paul Rawlinson says businesses are big consumers and have a huge impact on the environment across a whole range of functions, so removing the option of disposable cups is “just a tiny improvement, but it all adds up.”“It’s likely we’ll miss out on some custom and have to direct some guests to alternative options if they haven’t got a reusable cup or aren’t willing to purchase one, which could have a negative effect on us as an independent business.”Annual coffee cup usage is estimated at somewhere between 2.5 and 3.75 billion cups per yearalmost none of which are recycled because of their plastic lining. Paul said ethical concerns had always been important in his approach to business.“We’ve always taken great care to support other local businesses. We buy organic milk direct from a local dairy and our roasters source our coffee ethically, so it only makes sense that we now turn our focus to how we serve our hot drinks.” “Being so deeply rooted within our community we have these important conversations about sustainability face-to-face with our guests every day and to us it’s clear that this is a tipping point.”“Reducing plastic waste is something we can all take action on, and we’re choosing to start now.”