Bondi BYO Cup Week July 3–11

Bondi café owners say f*ck the cup.

“It’s only one takeaway cup … said 1 billion people.” 

Australians toss 2.7 million coffee cups into landfill every day. And takeaway cups are now the number one contributor of waste after plastic bottles. And Australians are now officially the number one user of single-use plastics.*

Bondi cafés are making a stand. For one week in July, Bondi will become the first council locality in the world to go 100% takeaway coffee cup-free, with the aim of creating a Guinness World Record.

Locals Sondra Beram from bRU Coffee and New York Times bestselling author and climate motivator Sarah Wilson have joined forces to make it happen.

“Takeaway coffee cups are such a visual symbol of the set-up we all feel locked into, that’s ruining the planet,” says Sarah, a long-term waste campaigner and well-known minimalist. “We all know it’s doing harm, particularly to our oceans, but we feel powerless to change things unless someone goes first …”

Well-known locals Bills, Three Blue Ducks Bronte, Lox Stock & Barrel, Gertrude & Alice, bRU Coffee, Rocker, Porch and Parlour, The Depot and Drake are among almost half of Bondi cafés to have committed to banning takeaway cups for the week, which coincides with the global environmental campaign Plastic Free July.

These 40 or so cafés banning takeaway cups for the week will save more than 35,000 cups from landfill. They will ditch single-use cups and serve their coffee three ways all week: using “keep-cups” customers bring from home, a mug library provided by the café, or encouraging people to take a moment and drink their coffee in-café.

Joining Sondra, Bondi Small Business Owner of the Year, and Sarah, Bondi Environmentalist of the Year, are a band of passionate locals, including Jane Turner from Gertrude & Alice, Jeanine Bribosia from The Cru, Vince Frost from Frost*collective, Caroline Geoghegan from The Bondi High, Andrew Cuccurullo from FCS, Jo Horsley from Responsible Cafes and Victoria Philips from Transition Bondi.

Sondra says: “Bondi BYO Cup Week came about when I heard Sarah in an interview refer to the staggering waste coming from cafés, especially disposable cups, and that ‘it only takes one café to do something’. My first thought was – bRU Coffee will be the first! I was happy to take on a challenge of reducing our waste even further. We already had a well-used mug library, had installed a juggler to get rid of plastic milk bottles, and had taken our coffee packaging to zero by using 4kg refillable coffee tins. I wanted to do something as a café community. I believe in the power of numbers and that a community can do much more rather than just one café. I called Sarah and a couple of cafés to get some feedback – it was positive. Bondi BYO Cup Week was born.

“I’m hoping that cafés will stick to their guns and ensure that no one walks away with a takeaway cup and that we can make a difference and continue to do so.  We owe it to our backyard, Bondi.”

Sarah, who researched the science and laws regarding the safety of disposable cups to best educate her community says, “There was a lot of fear and misinformation circulating during Covid and cafés and patrons went backwards in their efforts with non-disposables.

“But I think everyone really wants something big and bodaciously Bondi like this to happen; we want to feel we are making a difference.”

To get involved, please contact Sondra on
Instagram: @byocupweek
Hashtag: #bondibyocupweek #f*ckthecup
* The Plastic Waste Makers Index, published by The Minderoo Foundation

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