Don’t worry – since COVID-19 hit, many of us have been ordering our morning flat white in a takeaway cup. But now’s the time to bring back your reusable cups to kick start your sustainable habits again. Businesses are also starting to accept reusable containers for food too.

Here’s how you can use your reusable cups and containers safely:

1. Make sure it’s clean

If your local food venue is accepting reusable cups or containers, make sure you bring it in clean for a positive experience.

The advice from NSW Food Authority is that businesses “do not have to accept reusable containers such as travel coffee mugs from customers, and shouldn't do so if the containers are dirty.”

2. Keep your lid to yourself

When you drop off your reusable cup or container, keep your lid to minimise handling. It can also make the process more efficient for the food venue.

3. Keep up the hand hygiene

When ordering your coffee or meal, there is another option available to try, which may help people feel safer and get back on board with reusable cups and containers. When you apply sanitiser on your hands, rub it around the outside of the reusable item too. Then the barista or food provider can see that you are making an effort to keep everyone safe. This approach has been approved by the NSW Food Authority.

4. Say thank you

If a business accepts your cup or container, thank them. Be kind if they are still discovering safe ways to operate. You can let them know that our Swap for Good program is here to support them to use reusables COVID-safely.

Here’s some extra tips to be a conscious consumer:

  • Carry a reusable cutlery set and bag too! Single-use plastic bags and cutlery will be phased out by NSW legislation later this year, so it’s time to make new habits with reusable items.
  • If you see a café or office that could benefit from a float of swap cups or take away containers, refer them to our Swap for Good program to find out more.

Businesses wanting to reduce single-use plastics and be COVID-safe can also try the following methods:

  • A reusable item drop area into sanitising solution before rinsing with hot water
  • Swap and go cups which are placed in a dishwasher between uses
  • Contactless pour where you leave your cup on the counter and the beverage is poured directly into it.

Check out how local cafes are staying COVID-Safe.