Green Caffeen offers ACT government reusable coffee cup scheme for Canberra cafes

Founders of a successful swap-and-go scheme for reusable coffee cups have put up their hand to implement the system in Canberra.

Green Caffeen, which started on the south coast in August last year, involves distributing large supplies of reusable coffee cups to participating cafes to be used by customers.

Damien Clarke and Martin Brooks, the co-founders of Green Caffeen. Picture: Supplied

Damien Clarke and Martin Brooks, the co-founders of Green Caffeen. Picture: Supplied

The reusable cups can be used by customers and then returned to other cafes, where they can be washed and recirculated, replacing the need for single-use cups.

The scheme is now in effect in 200 cafes across the country, including inner west Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Alice Springs, and its co-founder Damien Clarke wants to expand it to the nation's capital.

The offer comes after Labor backbencher Suzanne Orr proposed a reusable coffee cup zone trail in parts of Gungahlin.

Mr Clarke said Green Caffeen was ready to launch into the ACT if the government gave it the green light.

"We're 100 per cent ready to go, and we've talked to cafes on the ground and they're keen," Mr Clarke said.

"We've been in communication with [City Services Minister] Chris Steel, and they said they have an information-gathering process to go through.

"We're putting feelers out there for community involvement on reducing single-use plastic."

Mr Clarke said there had been several discussions with the ACT government over the implementation of the scheme in the past few weeks, with further talks after the announcement of Ms Orr's proposal.

He said the government seemed interested in Green Caffeen's proposal, but were waiting on the outcome on other government trials to reduce single-use plastic in the ACT.

In order for the scheme to be a success in Canberra, Mr Clarke said several cafes would need to sign up from the beginning to create a network.

Coffee drinkers would be able to find participating cafes using a mobile app.

"We would try and launch in areas where there are around five to 10 cafes, and it's actually a profitable model for the cafes," he said.

"By making the cups free, cafes would be profiting by doing something for the environment and then others get on board as a result.

"We're hoping to launch sooner rather than later."

Ms Orr said she was hoping to introduce a network of single-use cup free cafes across Canberra to cut the environmental impact.

"I think Canberrans are very dedicated to our coffee, but that does come at a high environmental cost given how many of the disposable cups do go to landfill," Ms Orr said.

The model was based on the German city of Freiburg, where the local council provided cafes with their own supply of reusable cups.

Mr Clarke said Green Caffeen could come into the Canberra market to fill the void.

"We've expanded the scheme across eastern Australia and we're on a mission to prevent single-use coffee cups," he said.

"ACT people can have confidence that they would be able to grab reusable coffee cups from Canberra cafes."