BYO Cup

Have you heard of this new island destination?

Halfway between Hawaii and California there lies a new island destination.

This island expands 1.6 square kilometers and enjoys sunshine all-year-round.

The destination is gaining increasing attention from visitors all around the world, including scuba divers and marine researchers.

The island began getting international attention in 1988 when written about by Alaskan-based researchers. In 2012, it was the subject of a Ted Talk which really got the world interested.

Before you start packing your bags and looking up flights, we should let you in on something. The island is made entirely of floating plastic waste. We know. Disgusting.

You may know it as Plastic Island, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, The Plastic Trash Vortex, The Eastern Garbage Patch… whatever you call it, we need to do something about it and fast.

Harm to marine life is, in some cases, direct. Of the 1.5 million albatrosses that inhabit the area, nearly all are likely to have plastic in their bellies. Approximately one-third of their chicks die, and many of those deaths are from plastic unwittingly fed to them by their parents.

On the microscopic level, debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, with toxic effects. These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by fish and then by humans. 

Yep, many of us are consuming toxic plastic particles, every day, through the fish we eat.

Marine plastics facilitate the spread of invasive species that attach to floating plastic in one region and drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems. Debris affects at least 267 species worldwide.  

Step 1: Buy a Smuggy and make sure your coffee cup doesn’t end up on vacation in Plastic Island.

www.smuggy.com.au/the-cups

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Sign the Greenpeace Petition Here!

Greenpeace are lending their considerable weight to the fight against single-use plastic.

We here at Smuggy take pride, if not gratification, from doing our bit for the environment.

Our goal is to make it easy for our customers to get that little boost of self-satisfaction every time they use one of our products.

Now Greenpeace are making it even easier. All you have to do is fill out this short form to join the fight against the ridiculous plastic packaging we find on our every day groceries.

So buy a Smuggy for your coffee and sign the petition for your veggies!

www.smuggy.com.au/the-cups

https://act.greenpeace.org/page/23228/petition/1?locale=en-AU

 

Irish Choose Tax Over Ban

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Following other states initiatives to curb the number of disposable cups clogging up landfill, Ireland is considering a coffee cup tax. The “Latte Levy” being proposed will mean a 10-15c charge for the use of disposable single use cups.

The taxation will ultimately raise interest in glass reusable coffee cups which have been hugely successful alternatives in other jurisdictions.

Target Reusable Coffee Cups

The Republic of Ireland’s decision to tax cups is no surprise. Government agencies wanting to promote a culture of reusable BYO cups will take note of its country’s policy on plastic bags.

In 2002, Ireland became the first country to enforce a plastic bag tax. The 15c fee had dramatic effects on the Emerald Isle’s consumption of plastics. The use of plastic bags fell by 94%. Local parks and rivers were noticeably cleaner within months. Public opinion changed comprehensively to support the eradication of unnecessary plastic bags.

Unfortunately the net benefit was diminished by other factors. Although the use of plastic dramatically fell, the use of paper disposable bags skyrocketed. Paper bags require more energy to produce than plastic bags. It will be important the Irish government do not allow for unsustainable replacements in relation to coffee cups.

The Irish experiment would be far more environmentally sound if it fosters a movement to reusable, sustainable products. Along with the health benefits of utilising BPA free glass in our everyday lives, people will be doing their bit for the environment.

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups

Chile to Ban the Bag

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Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet signed a bill aiming to ban plastic bags in over 100 coastal areas. The move is seen as a phased approach to ultimately ban the use of plastic bags across the entire country.

Pacific Garbage Patch

It is no great surprise that the highest risk areas have been identified along the Chile coastline. Recently a plastic patch “bigger than the state of Texas” was uncovered in a remote area off the coast of Chile. Captain Charles Moore stated that “my initial impression is that our samples compared to what we were seeing in the North Pacific (Great Pacific Garbage Patch) in 2007”.

The Great Pacific Garbage patch located in North Pacific is located in international waters and therefore has no direct affiliation to any country. It has often be noted that it would “bankrupt any country” that tried to clean it up, due to its size and complexity.

As a hidden gem of the Chilean bill, it also allows non-coastal regions to join the project, empowering local municipals to say no to single use plastics.

What can we do?

Glass | Sustainable | Reusable Products

Most of the supermarket chains are now offering reusable bags at checkout. There are some really cool sustainable water drinking bottles on the market and of course, get yourself a glass, BPA free, reusable, coffee cup with Smuggy here :)

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups

Are Coffee Shops Doing Enough?

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When we hear baffling figures like only 1% of all disposable coffee cups are being recycled, it begs the question: “who is responsible?”

Coffee shop owners in the vast majority of cases are hugely personable people. We all know our local coffee shop baristas and owners. We chat to them when we grab our almond lattes or short blacks.

Maybe it is time for customers to demand a little more than a morning brew and a chin wag. Maybe we should be questioning our coffees shop’s waste management decisions.

I am lucky, I work in Barangaroo and live in Bondi, two places quite progressive in promotion of the reusable coffee cup. Barangaroo as an area is especially innovative, forcing businesses to have compostable cup lids and fully recyclable paper cups (most disposable coffee cups have plastic linings which deems them virtually un-recyclable).

Is that enough? We at Smuggy aren’t totally convinced. Recycling is fantastic but reusing is even better. Seeing people walk around with one of our glass reusable coffee cups is a pretty nice feeling. To be honest I support any of the reusable glass coffee cup makers. We all got here for the same reason, to change the tide away from plastics destroying our oceans and landscapes.

When our children look back at our generation and ask what the hell we were thinking, make sure you have some photographic evidence that you were one of the sustainable pioneers of your time. Saying no to single use products. Reusing wherever you can. Minimising your waste.

Be on the right side of this.

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups

The Hong Kong Clean Up

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Amazingly now in its 17th year, the Hong Kong Clean Up is launching again on 1st December 2017. The community clean-up project is the largest of its kind in the world, engaging over 350,000 participants.

Locals sign up to join other environmental warriors and tackle beaches, parks and streets to fight against the overwhelming tide of plastics destroying our oceans and landscapes.

What an incredible community initiative. When we heard about this fantastic movement, we wanted to celebrate it and maybe get some of our own readers interested in doing something similar in their own communities.

We desperately need to change our thinking away from a throwaway culture. Did you know that over 5 billion disposable cups are manufactured each year? Listen, we get it, disposable cups are very handy but the damage they are bringing our planet majorly outweighs the convenience.

Join us in saying no to single use products, starting with grabbing a stylish BYO cup from us at envirocup. They are made from glass and are BPA free.

Don’t stop there though, reuse anything that comes into your possession. We at Smuggy want to encourage reusing over recycling.

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups

The City of Vancouver Being Absolute Babes

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As people are starting to realise, disposable cups are very, very bad for our environment. The majority have plastic linings that deem them fundamentally unrecyclable.

Another absolute atrocity on our ecosystem is styrofoam.

Where individuals can be forgiven for not realising how detrimental disposable coffee cups are, we have no excuses when it comes to Styrofoam. We have always known how bad it was.

Well Vancouver have said “no more”. In line with their 2040 Zero-Waste goal, they are looking to ban plastic bags, styrofoam containers and disposable coffee cups.

So what is the answer? Well there are heaps. Don’t wait for your local governments to do it for you. Make a change for life. Say no to single use products and get out there and get yourself some sustainable products.

Our little earth will thank you!

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups