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5 ways to reduce your plastic coffee waste

In this time when we all make New Year’s Resolutions to do better and be better, how about adopting five new ways to reduce the amount of plastic you use and your impact on the environment.

Five Ways to Reduce Plastic Coffee Waste

The problem with plastic is that it is extremely useful and the problem isn’t going away anytime soon. But, the impact even small amounts of plastic has is immense and while individually it may seem to a task best left for governments and world leaders, it us using plastic that has the first and most damaging impact. So we have put together five ways that you can easily and affordably reduce your plastic coffee waste and stop filling the oceans and landfills with the stuff.

Switch to reusable single-serve filters instead of using pre-filled capsules. There are reusable versions available for nearly every type of single serve coffee machine. There are even machines that include a reusable single serve filter.Get your takeout coffee in a reusable travel mug — and campaign your favourite coffee shops to allow servers to fill them. It’s a little less convenient than just taking that plastic or polystyrene cup — you have to wash out the cup, for example — but it makes a difference. Some corporate coffee chains sell refillable mugs — and then instruct their servers not to fill them out of fear of lawsuits if someone gets sick after drinking from an unwashed travel mug. They listen to consumers, though, so if that happens to you, make your voice heard.

Say no to plastic straws and stirrers. If you really must have your coffee stirred, campaign your favourite convenience coffee shop to switch to wooden stirrers or invest in a self-stirring travel mug. Many travel mugs and water bottles — which work just fine for iced coffee — come with their own reusable straw. You can also indulge yourself in a reusable metal straw.

Learn more about local efforts to clean up and/or prevent plastic waste — and volunteer to help. Many coastal communities have regular beach clean-ups for which you can volunteer, and more and more communities are instituted bans on single-use plastics like coffee cups, grocery bags and plastic straws.

Ask your local coffee shop to switch to biodegradable or compostable takeaway cups and lids. It’s a growing market, and there are more and more choices available at prices comparable to plastic and polystyrene versions.

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