Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Coffee shop’s ‘topless’ takeaways campaign boiling up

Coffee shop’s ‘topless’ takeaways campaign boiling up

A CAMPAIGN by a coffee shop in Henley to discourage the use of takeaway cups is having an effect.

Drifters in Duke Street is offering discounts to customers who use returnable ceramic mugs or agree to take a paper takeaway cup without a plastic lid to help reduce waste.

The café re-opened more than two weeks ago after being closed since January due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Millie Jeans and her fiancée Talia Maguire, who run the business, say customers can use their own mug or be given one to return for cleaning and re-use.

They have been asking customers who prefer a takeaway cup if they would like to go “topless”.

The couple, who live in Gravel Hill, said that on their first day back about 60 people used a mug and even more agreed to use a takeaway cup without a lid. Miss Jeans said: “A lot of people took up the topless scheme so it was a huge effort from the town.

“We are saying to people that we want them to go to their other coffee shops to encourage them to get involved as well so it’s not just falling on us to be doing it.

“People can call us and let us know if they’ve left the mug at another shop and I will happily pick it up from them.

“We really need others to get involved so there’s a constant flow of mugs around the town.”

The couple are trying to do more to help the environment and cut down on litter as the bins in the town centre are often overflowing with takeaway cups.

They have been holding a “mug amnesty”, encouraging customers to drop off any unwanted ones so they can then give them to customers with their takeaway drinks. Miss Jeans said: “We’ve had lots of mug donations and at first we were like, ‘Oh my God, we have loads’ but we won’t always get the mugs back.

“In a month’s time we won’t push the scheme as much and hope people will have caught on — there will always be people who want a lid.

Miss Maguire said: “We’re not here to make people feel bad, it’s just giving people the option.”

Lynne Lambourne, an environmental campaigner from Peppard, helped the pair start the scheme after telling them the idea was popular in Australia.

Miss Jeans said: “Lynne knows someone who does 100 per cent compostable cups so we’re hoping that in the next month or two we will be using those. They are made out of sugarcane and bamboo and we want to put seeds on the bottom so you can plant the cup in your garden when you’re finished with it.”

The women decided not to offer takeaways after the announcement of the third lockdown to help encourage people to stay at home and halt the spread of the coronavirus.

They said that re-opening was tiring but exciting and the café had queues outside for much of the day.

Miss Jeans said: “The support has been amazing. We felt really uplifted that people would wait 10 minutes for a coffee from us.”

“But the work was back- breaking — we couldn’t stand up by the end of the day.

“It felt really good to re-open. We had a lot of new faces, which is great and we’ve got our homemade bakes back as well.”

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