Every year an estimated 500 billion disposable cups are thrown away worldwide after a single use and now Canberra coffee lovers can do their bit to reduce that figure.
After months of negotiations Green Caffeen has been given the green light to supply their reusable coffee cups to Canberra cafes.
Green Caffeen is a swap-and-go system where customers can sign up via a mobile app and use and return the cups free of charge to any participating cafe across the country.
Ona went live in all their three Canberra locations on Tuesday and executive barista Gus Mackie said more than 80 people signed up to use the system on the first day.
"We worked it out if each of those people came back once or twice for the rest of the week that's 80 cups at least we've saved," Mackie said.
He estimates Ona uses 2000 disposable cups per day at each of their four cafes, including Sydney.
"I recognise that takeaway cups are part of what we do but they're not good for the environment. We need to be looking for solutions."
He said Ona uses only biodegradable straws and cups but there's a misconception these will break down.
"It can be as simple as if they're not put in the right bin they don't have the right environment to break down. We're looking towards using fully recyclable materials but that's a way off."
The system, invented by Kiama locals Damien Clarke and Martin Brooks, emerged from their struggle to commit to reusable coffee cups.
"We got frustrated by our inability to commit to BYO cups," Clarke said.
"I'd leave them in the car for days, forget to wash them, and end up buying a brand new one.
"We thought there has to be a better way. We came up with a swap and go coffee cup scheme."
Clarke said they were extremely excited to see the system up and running in Canberra.
"We knew there was demand in Canberra," he said.
"We put something up through our social channels about eight weeks ago that we were planning to come down, we got a bit of traction and we wanted to build on that.
"We're very excited by Canberra because there are some big things happening through the legislative assembly who we've been working with."
The scheme is now in effect in 200 cafes across the country, including inner west Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Alice Springs and just this week it has been launched in Canberra with several cafes already on board.
Green Caffeen cups are made in Australia and are made from BPA free polypropylene which is the material of choice for food handling.
All Ona venues are on board, as well as Coffee Guru, Weston, On the Grind, Kambah, and Typica Cafe, Manuka. Clarke said 10 more Canberra cafes will go live within the next couple of weeks.
It is free for cafes to register for the system.