Cardiff cafes unite to support Contactless Coffee & reusable cups


A group of local, independent coffee shops and restaurants has teamed up to promote #ContactlessCoffee and encourage the safe and hygienic use of reusable coffee cups as lockdown restrictions lift.

Pettigrew Bakery & Tearooms, Bloc Coffee, Brodies Coffee, Dusty Knuckle, and The Little Man Garage have all pledged to accept reusable cups again as they reopen, and to offer discounts and special offers to the customers who use them.

The campaign is based on an initiative from City to Sea, the award-winning, Bristol-based organisation turning the tide on single-use plastic. They recently launched the #ContactlessCoffee campaign, which began as a pilot in Bristol, with a short video for cafes highlighting the latest best practice for accepting reusable cups safely.

Upon seeing the video on social media, a group of local Cardiff businesses got talking over Twitter and agreed it was time to bring the movement to the Welsh capital.

I’ve written before about how much I hate single use cups, so this is music to my ears.

Reusables during coronavirus

Jo Morley, head of campaigns at City to Sea said, “Safety is quite rightly the number one priority for all of us right now, and it’s understandable that cafes may be considering only offering single-use coffee cups when they re-open. However, no one material is guaranteed to stop the virus. That’s why the World Health Organisation and other health authorities continue to emphasise that washing our hands and sanitizing surfaces are still the best things we can be doing.”

2.5 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK – enough to stretch around the world roughly five and a half times, irreversibly damaging our environment and polluting our oceans.

Government guidance advises “the individual business to decide whether they allow the use of reusable cups or containers during this period”, so City to Sea want to support businesses in making the right decision by providing them with relevant guidance and support.

Over 115 health experts from eighteen countries signed a statement this week assuring retailers and consumers that reusables are safe during COVID-19, pushing back on claims made by the plastic industry. The health experts emphasize that disposable products are not inherently safer than reusables and that reusable systems can be utilized safely during the pandemic by employing basic hygiene.

City-wide support

Other businesses across Cardiff who have indicated on social media that they are accepting reusables post-lockdown include Mec Coffee in Castle Arcade, and Wild Thing vegan café in Grangetown. The campaign is also being supported by Cardiff’s first zero waste shop, Ripple Living, who are coincidentally offering 20% off everything in-store until 5th July – so if you don’t have a reusable cup yet, you know where to go!

Any business in Wales can join the initiative by checking out City to Sea’s online resources, accepting reusables and by using the #ContactlessCoffee hashtag.

Members of the public are also encouraged to get behind the campaign by snapping a picture of their reusable cups in action, tagging @citytosea_, and sharing with the hashtag #ContactlessCoffee.

City to Sea’s big ambition is to see businesses of all shapes, sizes and locations pledge to re-introduce reusables in time for Plastic Free July.


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