Member Spotlight - Newell Street Cafe

The coffee connoisseurs delight, Newell Street Cafe is serious about their coffee and treading lightly on the planet. We sat down with the team to discuss what being a part of Plastic Free Cairns & Douglas means to them.

When did you first learn about the damage plastics do to our environment?

As a child, I became aware of the issues in my local community through the work being done by my parents and their involvement in local community environmental groups.  We had a strong sense of community and responsibility around guardianship of the planet.


What prompted you to become a Plastic Free Cairns member?


Have a positive impact on the Cairns environment, local community support & our core business values.


What has been the easiest change for you to make?


A change in the supply chain - more environmentally friendly choices has made it easier to make the necessary changes.


What has been the most challenging change to make? 

The cost of changing from plastics to compostables initially was a big pill to swallow, but the motivation to have a smaller impact on the environment and to have a cafe that sat well within our core business values was more important, and has proven to pay for itself, with an increased customer base.


Also the limited availability of better home compostable choices, suppliers being out of stock has been a challenge - but has made us look at more reusable options.


Where do you see the industry headed when it comes to plastics & single-use waste? 

Changes to legislation will make industry improve their supply chains, and with customers demanding more eco friendly options, we see the future of takeaway being less disposable and more reusable. And we are excited for that!


Do you have any comments or tips to encourage other businesses owners along the waste reduction journey? 

Encouraging dining in and BYO cups and containers along with placing a surcharge for takeaway cups can have a big impact on the amount of packaging you have to buy, and this will reduce your waste too.