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Since the War on Waste, businesses across the Northern Beaches have been busy implementing clever ways to reduce single-use coffee cups including setting up mug libraries.

Set up a mug library

Setting up a mug library is easy!

  1. Pick up around 30 mugs from a local op shop and pop them in a cute box or basket.
  2. Make a sign with something like “Boomerang Cups: Borrow and bring back” or “Did you forget to BYO cup? Borrow and return from our mug library
  3. Let your baristas know to give the library a plug every time someone orders a coffee.
  4. Make some noise about it on your social media pages.

Most people will bring the mugs back on the same day but others may go on longer adventures.

Tips and Benefits

Martin from Saltbush Café in Freshwater said that locals donate mugs to the library and he says “The uglier, the better. The ugly mugs tend to come back.”

One local cafe converted 20% of their customers to using the mugs and saved $150 per week by reducing their disposable cups. That is more than $7,000 in savings per year!

Once you have a mug library, you can register on Cup Exchange to go on their map and drive conscious customers to your business.

Other options for your customers to share reusable cups include Green Caffeen, Huskee Swap and Returnr.

Northern Beaches cafes with a mug library

Email swapforgood@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au  Let us know if you have a mug cafe and we'll add you to the list!