More San Francisco Coffee Houses are Working to Reduce “Disposable Cups”

While San Francisco is facing a homeless epidemic, more cafes are tackling the use of disposable plastic cups.

Over the Christmas holiday, President Trump put the blame on House speaker Nancy Pelosi and California governor Newsom for not cleaning up San Francisco’s homeless problem.


While the serious crisis of a city being over-run by homeless has become a crisis, San Francisco businesses are hoping to have more success with reducing the use of disposable cups.

Fox Business reports the  trend to reduce the use of disposable or one-time-use cups has taken a step forward in the city by the bay.

A growing number of coffee houses in San Francisco are banishing paper to-go cups and replacing them with everything from glass jars to rental mugs and BYO cup policies.

What started as a small trend among neighborhood cafes to reduce waste is gaining support from some big names in the city’s food and coffee world.

Celebrated chef Dominique Crenn, owner of the three-star Michelin restaurant Atelier Crenn, is opening a San Francisco cafe next year that will have no to-go bags or disposable coffee cups and will use no plastic.

Customers who plan to sip and go at Boutique Crenn will be encouraged to bring their own coffee cups, says spokeswoman Kate Bittman.

On a bigger scale, the Blue Bottle coffeehouse chain, which goes through about 15,000 to-go cups a month at its 70 U.S. locations, says it wants to “show our guests and the world that we can eliminate disposable cups.”

Blue Bottle is starting small with plans to stop using paper cups at two of its San Francisco area branches in 2020, as part of a pledge to go “zero waste” by the end of next year.

Coffee to-go customers will have to bring their own mug or pay a deposit for a reusable cup, which they can keep or return for a refund. The deposit fee will likely be between $3 and $5, the company said.

Larger coffee and fast-food chains around the U.S. are feeling a sense of urgency to be more environmentally friendly with Starbucks and McDonald’s developing an eco-friendly alternative to the disposable coffee cup.

Earlier this month, Air New Zealand announced a plan to cut down on waste in the skies.

The trial involves vanilla-flavored biscotti cups served both on board and in the airline’s airport lounges, making them edible.

Starbucks, which has more than 15,000 U.S. cafes and about 16,000 internationally, plans to test newly designed recyclable cups in five cities next year: San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Vancouver and London, spokeswoman Noelle Novoa said.