A woman’s petition calling for warnings on takeaway coffee cups similar to those seen on cigarette packets in a bid to get people to “kick the disposable habit” is generating support.
Anna Warren started the appeal on change.org in a the hope of seeing messages included on the cups about the dangers the everyday item poses to the environment.
“Coffee cups are the second-largest source of landfill in Australia and most of the cups that don’t make it into landfill, end up in our environment,” the petition reads.
She added: “Coffee cups which don’t make it to landfill end up in our oceans, killing fragile marine life like turtles, dolphins and even whales – washing up on shore dead with stomachs full of plastic waste.
“Our waste situation is in crisis and if we don’t do anything about it, it’s only going to get worse.”
According to responsiblecafes.org each year in Australia more than three billion disposable hot drink cups and lids are used.
The organisation claims most are not recycled – saying they usually end up in landfill or littered.
“Sadly, so-called ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ cups share the same fate as it’s too difficult to separate their lining, even contaminating other recyclables,” an information sheet from responsiblecafes.org reads.
The organisation also says the products are resource-intensive and creating them chews through oil, water and trees.
It comes as news emerged last week of a major coffee retailer in South Australia banning the use of reusable coffee cups due to “potential health risks”.
On the Run employees were given a document explaining they are not allowed to serve drink or food out of reusable containers.
A spokesperson told Yahoo7 News that while caring about the environment and the effects disposable cups have, customers’ safety must come first.
“Using ‘keep cups’ or other food containers brought to site is a food safety risk; we cannot control contaminants such as bacteria, mould, viruses or foreign objects which may be present,” the company said in a memo to staff.
Ms Warren’s petition on change.org now has more than 23,000 signatures.
Yahoo7 News has contacted Ms Warren for more information on her petition and cause.