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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  • Madam, i agree with you. But water wpuld b used to wash the cups we carry for tea or coffee. So it means more water will be used. What to do for that Mam. Is there a solution? Thank you

  • Hi Rajani,
    While you are right – water will be used, however, the combination of renewable sources (like water) and non-renewable sources (like crude oil used to make plastic) as an equation is in favour of reusables as well. We will share a research paper with you showing that just 35 uses of a reusable mug nets off disposables and all further uses are energy saving. Conserve water by washing judiciously but using plastic is definitely not an alternative for that as it will take 500 years to go away. 🙂

  • You are doing really appreciable work. I am
    Also very must nature friendly person and my choices are eco friendly. Though many time people says what you alone will do I said every drop counts and there are many though at different places. And of course the ripple effect you said is really very effective. We buy our choices and practices inspire people. Any support if possible for me you can contact me.

  • “The Happy Turtle ” article enlightens on evil effects of plastic microbeads on human beings and how they find way into water. Remedy lies in avoiding use of cosmetics and plastics.

  • Great post and very informative as well. Yes, if everyone reduces the use of plastic then only we can save our environment. Using reusable straws at restaurants and at home can also reduce the waste created by the straw. Keep sharing your knowledge with the readers.

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