Hospitality Business Magazine

Coffee Cup library opens

A new initiative from Wellington roasters Havana Coffee Works, has launched across the country allowing coffee drinkers to order their takeaway brew in a reusable cup – even if they forget to bring their own.

Havana has teamed up with returnable packaging experts Again Again to create an innovative and practical solution to help reduce coffee cup waste, as a part of their Ground for Good campaign.

Dubbed the ‘Coffee Cup Library’, owing to its similarities with a typical library system, coffee lovers will have the opportunity to sign up, borrow and return a reusable stainless steel coffee cup from any participating Havana venue..

The system is simple and as easy as borrowing a library book. All customers need to do is download the Again Again app, purchase a coffee from their chosen Havana supplied café, and tap their phone on the scan station at the till to borrow a Havana cup at no extra cost. In many locations customers will in fact get a discount for borrowing a returnable cup. The great thing about the system is that customers don’t need to remember to bring a cup with them to borrow another returnable cup. Customers have two weeks to bring borrowed returnable cups back to a participating café and there is a network of cafes participating in Ground For Good where cups can be returned.

Sam Keall, Havana Sales Manager, says: “The Havana Ground For Good Coffee Cup Library is a significant moment for reducing single-use cup waste in Aotearoa. Our goal is to create a zero-waste circular system that is convenient and simple for Kiwis to get behind.

Sam Keall

“What’s even better is that our Havana returnable cups are not only good for the planet but, their double-walled stainless-steel design will take your coffee-to-go experience to the next level.”

Despite our clean and green reputation, Aotearoa generates the most landfill per capita of any developed nation in the world. Every year, Kiwis throw away 295 million single-use cups and when these cups don’t make it to landfill, they take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. Most cups aren’t recyclable due to their plastic interior liners and whilst compostable cups may seem like a better solution, it is estimated that only 1 in 400 of these cups are actually composted.

James Griffin, General Project Manager & Advisory at the Sustainable Business Network, says: “Consumers generally don’t know what to do with single-use items like coffee cups so they usually end up in landfill. The only way we’ll see a real difference is through reusing, which is crucial to combat both waste and carbon emissions. Havana and Again Again are paving the way to make reusing a cup accessible and realistic for consumers across Aotearoa New Zealand.”

To date, over 75 Havana venue partners have signed up to take part in the initiative, with that number continuing to climb. Keall says the wider Havana community has been extremely receptive, with businesses eager to be involved and save costs on single-use cups as a bonus.

“We’re excited to see the positive impact this will have on our environment and local communities. Our aim is that reusable coffee cups will become the new norm, not just for Kiwis but on a global scale. Hopefully, we’ll inspire other businesses to get on board with returnables,” says Keall.

To celebrate the launch of the initiative and give back to local communities, Havana will donate to a community cause selected by the café partner every time a cup is borrowed throughout October and November.

View all participating Havana cafés and venues HERE

How the Coffee Cup Library Works

The process is as easy as borrowing a library book:

  • Simply download the Again Again app
  • Check your Havana returnable cup in and out at your local participating café by tapping your phone on the Havana stand at the till
  • If a cup is returned to any local participating café within two weeks, there is no cost
  • Just like a late book, a small fee is incurred for cups returned late
  • Every time a cup is returned it is commercially cleaned and ready to be used by the next person

About Havana Coffee Works

Founded in 1989, Havana endeavours to source beautiful organic coffees that are ethically grown and directly traded from countries of origin. Since the beginning, Havana has built a strong community, supporting the arts in Wellington, contributing to local schools, charities and music festivals. Havana strives to lead the way when it comes to sustainability, from their eco-friendly packaging, to operating a comprehensive in-house recycling process and composting scheme, to their latest reusable scheme, the Coffee Cup Library.

About Again Again

Again Again is a reusable container management platform, making it convenient to choose waste-free food & beverage. They enable consumers, businesses, and packaging suppliers to make a viable transition from single use packaging to convenient, waste-free takeaways, at scale.