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Blue Bottle, the popular coffee chain, is testing a program to remove paper and plastic cups across locations. The company said by the end of 2020, 90% of all waste from cafes will be diverted from landfills. 90% waste diversion would make Blue Bottle a zero waste company.

In San Francisco, the coffee company is testing out zero-single use cups by encouraging customers to bring their own cups, in addition to offering a deposit-based reusable cup system. In this scheme, the customer puts a deposit down for a cup, which they get back when they return to be washed by Blue Bottle.

In partnership with Conservation International, Blue Bottle is hoping to reduce the impact its company has on single-use items. According to Conservation International, 30% of emissions come from the way people consume, dispose and make items. It’s more than heating or driving.

CEO of Conservation International, Dr. M. Sanjayan, says of the change in the statement announcing the shift, “Recycling is important, but the focus needs to be on the other two Rs: reduce and reuse. Efforts like the one Blue Bottle is piloting are really exciting to me because of how they engage consumers directly with being part of the solution. Yes, we need companies to make big changes, but we need consumers to change their behaviors too.”

Greenpeace USA Plastics Campaigner Kate Melges said of the Blue Bottle initiative  in an emailed statement, “Blue Bottle’s commitment is significant because it not only tackles the issue of single-use plastics, it strikes a blow to our throwaway culture as a whole. Blue Bottle is right — we are not going to recycle our way out of this Pollution crisis, and swapping in bioplastic or paper alternatives will only exacerbate other environmental destruction. To truly make a difference for both people and planet, we need more companies to move toward systems of reuse or package-free options as Blue Bottle has. This commitment puts direct pressure on Nestlé to do more to end its reliance on single-use plastics. Blue Bottle and other companies that Nestlé owns a stake in should continue to pressure the consumer goods giant to show real leadership by eliminating single-use plastics immediately. Our oceans, waterways, and communities are depending on it.”

Blue Bottle’s “big change” will be rolled out to other stores after it’s San Francisco pilot. Nestle owns 68% of Blue Bottle and CEO Bryan Meehan hopes the change will inspire Nestle to do more. Read more about companies working to reduce plastic, including IKEA and Budweiser UK.

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic Pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Maskspollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using  mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below:

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