Coffee drinkers revolt over huge cafe change amid WA’s cup ban

Coffee drinkers banned from using single-use cups have taken aim at the new eco-friendly alternative being used by cafes.

Western Australia became the first state to introduce legislation on non-compostable coffee cups earlier this month, with businesses who fail to comply facing the threat of hefty fines up to $25,000, and individuals at risk of a $5000 hit.

Cafes can instead use compostable paperboard cups, which are exempt from the ban. The cups are made from either paper or bagasse, a by-product of sugarcane.

Customers are also being encouraged to bring their own reusable drinking containers.

However, as West Australians get used to the new rules, there are some who aren’t happy with the crackdown.

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One resident who was recently served his hot drink in one of the environmentally friendly cups has taken to the Foodies & Coffee Snobs of WA Facebook page to complain about the experience.

“First time I’ve been served a coffee with a compostable lid and it’s bloody awful, horrible texture like licking a paddle-pop stick,” he wrote.

“May need recommendations for a keep cup, my experience is ruined.”

The post was quickly flooded with comments, many agreeing the compostable paperboard felt “weird”.

“Yep, I can’t stand them. I’m a cafe owner, we have a basket of ceramic cups people can take or borrow and bring back,” one replied.

“They are also a no-go for me, can’t get used to them,” another wrote.

“Haha yep and feels like your mouth will stick to it,” someone else mused.

As one declared: “I 100 per cent agree these are horrible.”

“Yes hate these tops. Not the same anymore,” chipped in one.

“I agree, they feel disgusting. Take the lid off and drink from the cup,” suggested someone else.

Meanwhile one raged: “Oh God! When you said licking a Paddle Pop stick I got the shudders. I can’t STAND IT!!!”

However there were some who were very unsympathetic, stating the man’s issue was a “first-world problem” and insisted it was time to buy his own cup.

“I have never had a problem with them,” one shared.

“Grow up and buy a cup,” another spat.

Many shared suggestions for reusable cups, with the man eventually updating the thread to state he’d purchased an Avanti 16oz cup for both him and his wife.

WA’s Environment Minister Reece Whitby said the latest move was part of the Cook government’s wider push to crack down on single-use plastics in the state.

The coffee cup ban is the second phase of WA’s Plan for Plastics, which Mr Whitby said had already led to 430 million fewer single-use plastic products like takeaway containers, disposable plates and cutlery and thick plastic bags from going to landfill each year.

“This ban complements the ban on cotton buts with plastic shafts, degradable plastic and microbeads that have already been implemented in WA,” he said.

“The state government will continue to work with retailers and the community to ensure that the changes are well understood and implemented successfully.”

The government ordered businesses to start phasing out the cups early last year.

A consultation paper in 2022 found people in WA used 182 million coffee cups per year.

The change will not be the last for the state, with more bans set to take effect later this year.

From September 1, WA will also ban non-compostable produce bags, plastic lids for takeaway food containers, bowls, plates and trays.

Plastic bowls, plastic takeaway food containers and plastic-lined paper cartons, such as those typically used for single-serve noodle dishes, will also be banned.

While WA is the first to ban the non-compostable cups. South Australia is not far behind, with similar rules to come into force from September.

NSW and Victoria are yet to commit to any sort of ban.

— With NCA NewsWire

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