I never got into the habit of drinking chai, unlike most of the people around me. Being a coffee person, there is nothing better than a nicely brewed cup, at any time in the day.
As my love for coffee grew over the years, I started exploring different coffee shops across Delhi, only to find a few places that I frequent till today. It was only until a few months back, when I was roaming the streets of Melbourne, and saw people giving their own cups to take their coffees in. And from there began this journey.
A quick Google search on takeaway cups and I realised what a bubble I had been living in. Yes, these cups are made of paper, so of course, they are recyclable. Unfortunately, no! All the takeaway cups are single-use plastic-lined, which makes them un-recyclable. This made me cringe every time I picked up a takeaway cup and the thought of it not getting recycled.
Today, approximately 8,000 cups hit the landfills every minute, globally. I made a switch. I started carrying my own cup with me. We are at a time where we’re expected to have more plastic in the oceans than fish. We are headed towards a bigger disaster if we let this continue. There’s huge public demand for a less wasteful cup, and with this, I started Every Cup Matters – an initiative to have coffee chains in India make the switch and have recyclable take-away cups.
As I write this article, I can remember a conversation my mother had with the gentleman who served her a coffee just three days back. She asked him to make her beverage in a glass and not give her a straw. When she asked for a spoon, she was offered a plastic one. When she refused to take that, he gave her a steel spoon. While there are many who make conscious decisions to ‘refuse’, many of us will not think twice before using a plastic straw or cutlery.
This World Environment Day is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time – plastic. While many parts of the world are already enforcing policies (ref: EU’s proposed bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics), there are still a lot of countries which are way behind.
Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute. Every year we use up to 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. In total, 50 percent of the plastic we use is single use. How can we make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic? If you can’t reuse it, refuse it!
This year’s World Environment Day provides an opportunity for each of us to embrace the many ways that we can help to combat plastic pollution around the world. Let’s start small. Let’s make sure that #EveryCupMatters. Together, we can make a change. Sign this petition to make a difference. Act today, save tomorrow.