Tea might be a quintessentially British staple but coffee keeps the nation going.
And as the world spirals into its doomed ending (shout out to global warming), more of us are becoming eco-conscious which is filtering down to our everyday habits such as drinking coffee.
Coffee cups, particularly, are a major source of plastic waste. To cut down, a company who is nostalgic for the days of milkmen – whereby vans would deliver the goods in reusable glass bottles – have launched their own version of it.
Hej Coffee Round, which is known for its coffee shops, particularly in Sweden, has introduced an electric milk float to deliver the stuff to Londoners.
The roastery now hopes to eliminate the need for excess packaging – which contributes to approximately 300 million single-use non-recyclable foil, plastic coffee bags being produced and discarded.
The folks at Hej (pronounced hey) told us why they started the coffee float.
‘Our research found out that an estimated 70 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK every day which equates to approximately 300 million individual pieces of single-use packaging,’ a spokesperson said.
‘Even going into our warehouse which is full of pallets brimming with non-recyclable bags of coffee it was easy to see how much we contributed to the mounting issue of waste pollution.
‘As a result, we rattled our brains for a solution which would actually make a difference so we could join the war on single-use plastics.’
So last month, they launched the initiative, buying an old 1963 ‘Ernie’ milk float.
They’ve been delivering fresh coffee from their local roastery in Elephant and Castle to businesses and workplaces around London.
Ernie’s first delivery was to their client Grant Thomspon LLP, saving the law firm 141 coffee bags and nine cardboard boxes in one delivery which normally lasts them a week.
If they continue their services with Hej, they will save 6,120 single-use coffee bags from their previous usage.
Hej also has a plan for individuals who want to do their bit. At their café/roastery in Elephant and Castle, locals can come in to buy the coffee beans which can be poured directly into reusable containers from the customer or purchased from the cafe.
Essentially, the Hej Round is no different to how customers normally order their coffee, except that the coffee is received in containers which they return at their next delivery.
Once these containers are returned, they’re washed and refilled, ready for the next customer.
‘We are aware that our containers are plastic but they have an end of life policy,’ added a spokesperson. ‘If a container is broken or is not fit for use it is recycled into coffee bars and trikes which we use around the very sites participating in the Hej Round.’
Those interested in finding out more and setting it up can call, email, visit the website, or pop into one of the Hej Coffee cafes.
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