A service station retail chain in South Australia (SA) has banned its retailers serving takeaway coffees in customers reusable cups and mugs.
The ‘On The Run’ chain introduced the new policy was introduced for safety reasons, including the risk of contamination, the ABC reported.
The ban has upset both customers and environmental advocates.
DoSomething advocacy group founder Jon Dee said: “Other service stations and coffee shops have been going out of their way to encourage people to bring in their own reusable cups or they’re providing them with ceramic cups”.
“On The Run really has made a major mistake and I think they’re underestimating how angry South Australians will be about this,” Mr Dee said.
“South Australia is the state that is known for doing the right thing by the environment.
“As we saw with the War on Waste TV series with Craig Reucassel, Australians are using over a billion disposal coffee cups every single year, and most of those are ending up as litter or in landfill”.
An internal memo from the company to its staff stated the policy was intended to protect customers from the spread of germs.
“We cannot control contaminants (bacteria, mould, viruses, foreign objects, etc),” the memo stated.
“Foreign containers present a high risk of cross-contamination when they come into contact with food preparation areas and equipment.”
SA Health currently doesn’t have a policy regarding reusable coffee cups.