Zero Waste Coffees with Again Again

Again Again is one of those initiatives that you hear about and go “why doesn’t that already exist all over the place?” because it’s just that genius. It’s a cup-lending system which doesn’t require the forward-thinking of your own reusable cup yet doesn’t create waste like compostable single-use cups. Essentially, Again Again is an easy, convenient cup-lending system which can reduce the demand for disposable cups which are so damaging to the environment.

Again Again provides steel reusable cups to participating cafes which can be used by customers via a deposit, which is refunded when they return the cup. It’s $3 to borrow a cup and lid and just $2.50 for the cup. By using the cup, you’re not buying it, terms and conditions state that you have to return it within 2 weeks, and cafes will only accept 12 or fewer cups at a time. 

Again Again is pretty much a textbook circular economy initiative. You use a product, and instead of throwing it out and creating more waste, you return it to be used again. Your coffee is now waste-free when you’re on the go and you can sip knowing that you’ve helped divert waste from landfill.

In Aotearoa, the land of coffee-drinkers, it is estimated we dispose of 295 million cups a year. That’s 295 million cups which go to the landfill, emit methane, and contribute to both pollution and climate change. Even those compostable coffee cups aren’t any good, because they hardly ever go to a commercial compost facility and can be just as harmful to the environment as regular plastic. 

Again Again estimates that they divert 50,000 cups from landfill a month - and that’s just in Auckland and Wellington. Their recent expansion to Christchurch will have our cafes joining 120+ partner cafes throughout central Wellington, Auckland, with the Southern Lakes network launching at the same time.

For this to be effective in Christchurch, we need to be getting as many cafes as possible on board to support Again Again. Cafes simply offer the cups, they don’t have to stop using disposable cups completely - although wouldn’t it be cool if we were the first city in New Zealand to stop using disposable coffee cups in locally-owned cafes?

So, go to your local cafe and ask them about it. Request that they do some research and pick up the initiative. Or, even better, present the research to them.

Here’s what cafes should know about the initiative:

  • Using Again Again can cost you less money than your regular disposable coffee cups.
  • Again Again offers a lot of support to cafes. You can order in as many cups as you
  • think you’ll need, courier excess cup/lid units back to Again Again for a refund, and don’t hold responsibility for the cups as they are being loaned from Again Again, not the cafe.
  • The cafe just needs to be able to wash and be rendered hygienic by the partner cafe in accordance with regulation 70 of the New Zealand Food Regulations 2015.
  • Again Again charges partner cafes a monthly network fee. “There is a tiered subscription structure that scales with the volume of takeaway coffees that your cafe serves. If 20% of your customers use the system, the cost of this fee is likely to be less than you are currently paying for the single-use cups that you would otherwise be purchasing” claims the website, where those interested can read more about vendor terms of trade here.
  • If they’re not convinced yet, remind them that they can be a part of the solution. Everyone can do something to make an impact on our wasting epidemic and by offering this opportunity to their customers, they’re choosing to make the difference. 

Again Again can flourish in Christchurch, prompting the circular economy to become the norm if we all get on board. Expect to see Again Again in cafes in Christchurch from the 7th of November, and make sure you ask for a metal cup!

Check out the map of participating cafes