Make the most of waste by the Auckland Council

Go reusable for your caffeine fix during Plastic Free July

Choose to refuse and BYO cup

Published: Tuesday 23 July 2019

Go reusable for your caffeine fix during Plastic Free July

Aucklanders love to kickstart their day with a caffeine fix when they are on the go - and we are not alone.

The Packaging Forum estimates that 295 million hot and cold cups, including coffee cups, are consumed in New Zealand every year. At a global level, estimates balloon to 88 billion per annum.

Each time we use a single-use cup, it contributes to the significant flow of single-use plastic composite packaging that can’t be recycled and ends up in Auckland’s landfills. Most single-use cups are lined with plastic and are not recyclable in domestic kerbside recycling bins.

“The global Plastic Free July challenge gives us all the opportunity to turn the tide on single-use plastics entering our environment,” says Parul Sood, Programme Director – Waste Solutions.

“There are lots of simple, easy steps that we can take together to make a difference. Auckland Council is encouraging our staff and all Aucklanders to choose to refuse single-use coffee cups. Why not dine in or remember to take your own reusable cup?  We can start now and create a new reuse habit that carries on past July.”

There are numerous reusable cup options available to purchase or you can make your own reusable cup – all you need is a glass jar and lid and some rubber bands. There are online video tutorials that show you how to put together your own reusable cup.

If you get caught on the run and forget your own reusable cup, there are options, like the two below, available at cafés and restaurants to support people who want to say no to a single-use takeaway cups.

Again Again

The new reusable Again Again cup lending system recently launched in central Auckland on 11 June, with more than 30 cafes signed up to offer an alternative to single-use cups. 

The service offers customers takeaway coffee, without single-use cups going to landfill.  In a nutshell, if customers forget their own reusable cup, they can pay a $3 deposit for a reusable stainless steel cup with a lid, which can be loaned from any café in the Again Again network. Cups can be returned to the same café, or any other in the network, for a full refund, or swapped for another clean reusable cup. 

For more details and maps of where to find a café in the Again Againnetwork, check out


UYOC is a not-for-profit group that offers an online guide to cafes who love it when you UYOC (use your own cup) for take-out hot beverages.

Through their website and social media, UYOC connects people with cafés happy for you to bring your own cup, as well as those offering other services such as selling reusable cups; offering discounts when you ‘use your own cup’ instead of a disposable cup; having free wifi; refilling your water flask or drink bottle, whether you are a customer or not (cutting down on plastic waste); giving away free coffee ground waste for your garden or face mask; welcoming pets; serving ethically-sourced coffee; and not handing out plastic straws.

Biodegradable or compostable single-use cups

Compostable single-use cups also create issues if not disposed of correctly and placed in a bin that is sent to a commercial composting facility. To find out more about how to correctly dispose of single-use cups that are labelled biodegradable or compostable, check out these useful guides.

Plastic Free July Aotearoa

Auckland Council has been taking part in Plastic Free July, a worldwide challenge encouraging people to take small, daily actions to create long-lasting habits to minimise single-use plastic and improve recycling practices.

For more details and tips on how to eliminate plastic from your life visit or check out the Plastic Free July Aotearoa Facebook page.