Plastic Free Moseley and Kings Heath
‘Our mission is to make plastic use sustainable in our community.’
Plastic Free Moseley and Kings Heath (“PFMKH”) is one of over 800 Plastic Free Communities in the UK. Plastic Free Communities is a campaign set up by the national charity, Surfers Against Sewage, to empower people to take action against plastic pollution in their own neighbourhood.
What is Plastic Free Moseley & Kings Heath?
PFMKH was set up in Spring 2018 as Plastic Free Moseley, expanding into Kings Heath in early 2020. They have always been run by a small group of volunteers, and work with all parts of the community to raise awareness of plastic pollution and to help reduce reliance on single use plastic.
PFMKH want to set up a coffee cup lending programme in Moseley and Kings Heath, with the potential to expand into other areas of Birmingham. The aims of the project are to:
- reduce reliance on single use coffee cups
- reduce local litter
- encourage sustainability locally.
The UK uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year, resulting in 150,000 tonnes of CO^2eq annual emissions. Fewer than 1 in 400 are recycled largely due to the mixed materials used to make them; the standard paper cup requires a thin plastic lining to be watertight, but the paper and plastic are difficult to separate and so require special processing. As a result, coffee cups need to be collected separately from mixed recycling.
A new approach is needed.
They believe that the solution is a coffee cup lending programme: reusable coffee cups that can be taken away from cafes and returned at the customer’s leisure. This would work as follows:
- PFMKH would purchase a large batch of light weight high quality reusable coffee cups (at around £1.25 each)
- Local cafes sign up to the community coffee cup lending programme • The cafés borrow (via a deposit) a batch of the coffee cups from PFMKH • When a customer buys a drink, the café will encourage the customer to have it in a reusable takeaway coffee cup
- The customer pays a small refundable deposit
- The customer returns the cup at their leisure to any participating café and their deposit is returned
- PFMKH provides point of sale signage, online promotion and promotions to encourage take up.
What will you use your LoveBrum funding for?
£2000 funding would enable PKMKH to launch this project. Each reusable cup only needs to be used 3 times to have a lower carbon footprint than one single use coffee cup. If 50 reusable cups were used each day, as part of the programme, over 18,000 fewer single use coffee cups would be used across Moseley and Kings Heath each year.
Where can people go to find out more about Plastic Free Moseley & Kings Heath?
Ben Lee, Co – Leader
You can find out more about Plastic Free Moseley & Kings Heath on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.