March 2022 – reusable cups!

It’s happening! From this month we are no longer using paper cups for take away drinks. Your options are –

1. Bring your own reusable – this can be anything from your favourite office mug, to the reusable you got for Christmas, or the Thermos you’ve had since forever. We don’t mind as long as it’s clean and we can put hot coffee in it.

2. Use one of our Monmouth reusable cups – the refundable deposit is £5 and you will find all the information on the info sheet in our shops or on our website here. This is a great option if you don’t have your own reusable or just really like ours.

3. Have your coffee in ceramic. The best option if you aren’t moving far from the shop!

We talked last month about our reasons for doing this and we have had a lot of positive and some not so positive feedback. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to get in touch with us and offer your thoughts, share your experiences, and make suggestions. We know this isn’t the most convenient thing to do and we are sorry for the hassle. But at the same time we know that if there is going to be a real reduction in the amount of single-use items that we have responsibility for, then it is up to us to start (and in a lot of cases continue) making the small changes that get us there.

We believe reusable cups are a viable way to significantly reduce the amount of papercups that make their way to landfill. Since the early days of reusable, the materials have improved significantly, the end-of-life protocols have also improved, and perhaps tellingly we are all much more aware of the impact that single use packaging has. We all take our reusable bags to the supermarkets and local shops, most of us use a refillable bottle for water and many of us bring our own packaging to zero-waste shops.

We could have waited for the long-signalled latte levy to make this change, or maybe we could have waited for the wider industry to move together to make the change. Both options seem a long way off and instead we have taken what feels like a more difficult route in removing the paper cup ahead of legislated requirements. As we said last month we aren’t the first and we hope not to be the last. And like others before us we have been told it is bold, brave, and probably a bit stupid. We are hoping it is bold, brave, and a continuation of making our business sustainable in all the ways we can.

All the ways we can also includes our coffee packaging. We have been working on our packaging for some time and we want to make sure that when we do move to a fully recyclable option, it really is that. At the moment the liner of our paper bags isn’t recyclable. We tried a biodegradable liner some time ago but had problems with theliner degrading before we could get through our minimum order quantity so we have restarted our research into the most suitable option for us. In the interim though, if you are a customer at our shops you can bring any container and we will put your whole-bean or ground coffee into it. We have done this since the heyday of the whole-foods, zero-packaging market we were a part of in Neal’s Yard in the 1970s.

So, back into this century and back onto cups. This month remember to bring your reusable, or rent of one of ours for £5 which is refundable on return. Logistically this is a big change for how we do things in our shops, so thanks in advance for your patience and a massive thank you for your support – it makes a real difference.

See you with your reusable,

Monmouth x