As a ‘Do One Thing’, this feels like a bit of a cheat because it’s something we started at Ormeau Parkrun a few months ago and now do every week. A few of us on the committee decided to go plastic free for tea and coffee, and I reckon, at a conservative guess we’ve already prevented about 3000 polystyrene cups heading to landfill. I’ve just finished washing up these and had a couple of little helpers to help dry them. Some other parkruns, namely Stormont and Queen’s have also ditched the single use cups, and it’s working out well. Yesterday one of our runners enquired as to where to source them as he goes to set dancing classes where they are still using disposable cups. Word is slowly spreading that we can make small, positive changes with minimal effort. For under £35 I was able to purchase 120 cups plus a container to transport them, so they will pay for themselves in a matter of weeks.
Recently at out PTA in school we switched to the IKEA cups for our Halloween disco. This obviated the need to buy almost 600 bottles of water which the children normally have, and we are also able to serve tea and coffee to the parents. We chatted while we rinsed and dried them, and it wasn’t a lot of extra trouble. If you take part in parkrun, or regularly attend events where cups and plates are routinely binned after one use, perhaps you could moot this idea. I normally travel with a couple of these in the car so I can ask for a glass of tap water if I don’t have my water bottle, or one of the kids needs a drink. And look, if it’s good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge, it’s good enough for us.