Ask and You Shall Get! (All your beverages Plastic-Free in Cafes)

How many times has it been that you went to your favourite tea/coffee joint, ordered your cuppa and received it in a takeaway cup that you just took with you, added sugar from the sugar sachet and stirred it with that plastic stirrer… whether you were sitting there with your drink or taking it to go!

On an average, this simple act contributes about 12 gms of Plastic Waste to landfills – add the lid, and its another 4-5 gms!

Most people feel like this is how it is served so not much we can do about it! Right?

Well, I have tried to have my tea and coffee without any plastic in various cafes around the city… and succeeded! No matter if it was a Starbucks (now notoriously in the news for disposable cups that don’t biodegrade), Chaayos or Chai Story. I am naming these three because this is where I have tried and succeeded – no strings attached! As I try more places, I will definitely update the list and share the same with you.

So how did I do it?

Here’s my secret 3-step guide to avoid plastic with your coffee/ tea in a cafe:

Sitting at the Cafe (Dine-in):

Step 1: Ask for your beverage in a reusable cup/ glass.

Step 2:

Cold Beverages: No Straws Please. Thank You! 

Hot Beverages: Request the Barista to add Sugar during the coffee or tea making process thereby avoiding sugar sachets.

Step 3: Ask for a reusable spoon to mix your beverage if needed

It is really as simple as that!

Throw in a “Please” and a “Thank you” and that even got my water bottle refilled for FREE!

Tried the same process at multiple outlets of the above chains and have not been disappointed yet!

Coffee or Tea to go:

For those who drink coffee or tea on the run regularly, I strongly urge you to carry your own cup. The rest of the steps are the same! 

1 Reusable Bring-Your-Own-Cup can save up to 500 Plastic/ Paper Coffee cups a year!

That number adds up quickly if you think about it! And before you ask, yes even the Paper cups are not biodegradable courtesy a thin Plastic Lining on the inside which helps hold liquids.

Online Delivery:

If you can simply request for no cups or sugar sachets to be sent along with your delivery that would be great for the environment!

Try and have reusable cups in your office too (keep one at your desk and simply wash it yourself). And if you are ordering that nice cup of tea for a lazy weekend at home, please use the cups at home and avoid unnecessary plastic accumulation!

So go ahead and try it…

Stop waiting for the world to change and regulations to sink in before you stop having plastic with your tea/coffee!

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  • HI
    nice post. thinking about making the switch to cloth pads. Im a doctor and practically live at the hospital. I’m concerned about delays in washing the pad after use as I have to simply bag them after use and have no way of washing them at the hospital. How do working women do this? How do you segregate and store used pads before washing?

    • Hi Sujitha
      A solution for your problem, and the problem for all busy women, could be menstrual cups. They are eco-friendly as well, and are very convenient, they are available on our online-shop if you would like to have a look.
      Thank You!

      • Hi Sujitha,
        I work with Eco Femme and use their cloth pads – when I have to change during the day, I fold them up neatly to take them home to wash when it is convenient. To transport them home, you can fold the two ends towards the middle and fastening the buttoned flaps over these so they are encased in the leakproof layer. You can then place this small folded square in a small pouch to put in your bag. This is a clean way to carry them home – then I put them in a bucket to soak for an hour (or even overnight) to later wash. Hope this helps, if you have any more questions feel free to ask. Using cloth pads has really changed my relationship to my body, menstruation and the environment in so many good ways! 🙂

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