Abigail Forsyth, CEO of KeepCup, wants Australians to pay more for takeaway coffee.
“Not significantly, only a few cents,” Ms Forsyth told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Following a pandemic that forced Australia’s hospitality sector into several lockdowns, the loose change could help cover the cost of disposable cups and lids, which she estimates can cost a cafe between 50 and 60 cents per cup for both.
However, she believes that a provocative ‘stick’ approach, rather than a ‘carrot’ approach, is necessary to nudge consumers towards more environmentally conscious choices.
“We’re attempting to normalise behaviour,” Ms Forsyth explained, citing research indicating that a small increase in price is more effective than discounts in encouraging the use of reusable cups.
“It sends a message to the public that there is a cost associated with this. It’s an excellent way to influence voluntary behaviour.”
Australians discard approximately 50,000 disposable cups per hour, or 1.2 billion per year – a massive landfill problem for something we use for less than an hour. With climate change at the forefront of public discourse and COP26 dominating headlines, Ms Forsyth hopes to channel positive sentiment towards sustainability into action and remind customers that the power to make better choices is literally in their hands. “It appears to be a good time to me.”