Since we opened Seibiant nearly 3 years ago (really???) we have been steadily moving towards having as tiny a carbon footprint as we possibly can. We even got to be a finalist in the Green Business of the Year at Conwy Business Awards last year! We’ve always composted our organic waste, so all our tealeaves, coffee grounds, food waste, gets composted either by us or by our friendly allotmenteers. Paper we recycle, plastic we recycle – milk cartons are fortunately effectively recycled locally. We even have a couple of Ecobricks on the go! http://www.ecobricks.org. Tetrapacks for our non-dairy milks are recycled. Lots of us are doing the same thing – and these numbers are growing daily. We reuse and recycle everything we can, from those hessian coffee sacks to pallets that our kit arrives on, and as you know, our counters are all made from upcycled scaffolding planks!
Made by Laura
Our biggest bugbear though has been single use cups for takeaway coffees and teas. Now we don’t sell hundreds of takeaway drinks, we’re not a café after all, but we were very much aware that our specially selected compostable cups and lids, were ending up in standard bins around Conwy. Now we’ve effectively composted these in our own compost bins, and in summer they really do break down completely in 12 weeks, but we found it really frustrating seeing our proudly stamped cups in the bin! Did you know that only 1 in 400 (0.25%) of the estimated 2.5 billion plastic coated coffee cups used in the UK each year are recycled. 4%, approximately 500,000, are littered every day. The rest (95.75%) go into landfill. We should be truly ashamed.
This has motivated us to take The Big Step – and we are now a no more single use takeaway drinks shop. Our customers have known for a long time that we were working towards having no single use takeaway cups at all, and we used our very last one yesterday. We may lose some custom, but we at Seibiant think that this thing is bigger than just us, and we have to a) set an example and b) give you a bit of a kick up the backside to do the right thing.
So does this mean that you can’t have a takeaway drink from Seibiant? No of course it doesn’t. But you do need to be more prepared – how many of us have at least one reusable cup at home (I’ve got 3), or in the car, but forget to bring it, and end up getting a single use cup of coffee?
We are going to make it easier for you though, and have three options when you want a takeaway coffee or tea
1) Come prepared with your very own cup – we absolutely don’t mind what this looks like – we already fill a huge variety, from the prettiest china cups from Blush, to a selection of bamboo cups from Blink, to fancy metal cups from Vinomondo. We also don’t mind if it’s dirty from last time – we will give it a quick rinse if you want, but don’t mind if you don’t!
2) You can buy one of our bamboo cups, with our own logo on it – to remind you where to get your coffee from. These are £4.50, your first drink is free. The cups come from our friends Sional in Llanfairfechan http://www.sional.co.uk. We will also have a more expensive range of reusable cups over the next few months.
3) And if you’re one of these people who has a cupboard full of reusable cups which you keep forgetting (shame on you!! – I have three, I feel your pain!) you can rent a cup from us for the same price, but you don’t have to keep it – and you get your rent back in full when you bring the cup back to us! We will then wash the cup, and it’s back on the shelf for the next person who wants to #rentacup!
Now, we have a transition period, during which we have no single use cups, and we have no bamboo cups to buy or rent as yet. So what’s the plan?
If you’re a regular, you’ll know that we have a lovely selection of mugs in the shop that you can rent for £1, bring it back, and get your quid back – or if you choose not to, you’ve got a lovely mug for £1! The mugs all come from charity shops, so everybody gains! Any £1’s left over in the pot at the end of the month goes into one of our charity boxes in the shop, so to Idlewild Animal Sanctuary or OneHeart – the homeless charity in Bangor. And if you fancy doing a Marie Kondo KonMari on your mug cupboard, to paraphrase Emma Lazarus “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, so long as they’re unchipped and unstained – we can give give them a new life!