The University of Sydney launches Green Caffeen swap-and-go coffee cup program

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Green Caffeen

The University of Sydney has teamed up with the Australian swap-and-go reusable coffee cup network, Green Caffeen, to help divert up to 35,000 single-use coffee cups from landfills each week.  

According to Ben Pinney, food and beverage operations manager of the University of Sydney, as the primary coffee provider on campus, the union had an obligation to reduce single-use cups.

“Every day during the semester, we sell over 5000 coffees, so we recognise the need to adopt and encourage our members to choose reusables when visiting our cafes,” shared Pinney.

The coffee cup loan program will allow students and staff to “check out” a reusable cup via the Green Caffeen app. Afterwards, they can return the used cups to any participating cafe on campus or in the country.

Green Caffeen co-founder Damien Clarke said he was confident university staff and students would find changing their takeaway coffee habits much easier with the swap-and-go system in place.

 “It’s notoriously difficult for people to remember their reusable cup every time they want a takeaway coffee,” explains Clarke.

“That’s why we designed Green Caffeen to be a complete no-brainer. It’s like a library service. You check a cup out and check it back in again later.”

The service is free, and consumers can borrow two cups out at once. In addition, Clarke said borrowers shouldn’t worry or feel embarrassed about returning dirty cups because they can place them straight in the cafe’s contactless drop-zone container.

Nicole Marchhart, the university’s energy and waste manager, said the partnership with Green Caffeen reflected the university’s deep commitment to sustainability and was another step towards its goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030. 

“We’re working hard to make our campuses more sustainable and resilient, with initiatives from on-site composting to rooftop solar panels on our buildings,” said Marchhart. 

“By switching to a system that makes it easier for everyone in our community to move away from single-use coffee cups, we’re making great progress in our mission to reduce, reuse and recycle waste on our campuses.” 

Green Caffeen’s swap-and-go reusable cup network is available in over 700 cafes nationwide. 

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.


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