Sibling Cafe's coffee making is completely plastic-free

Last updated: 15 December 2022
close up of hands pouring milk from stainless steel jug to ceramic coffee cup Providing reusable cups and using a milk on tap' system means their coffee making is completely plastic-free.

The hospitality industry not only provides enjoyable experiences for customers, but also offers opportunities for people to gain employability skills and contribute to a community.

Sibling Cafe in Carlton North is a social enterprise embracing many aspects of sustainability by minimising waste and running programs that foster community participation for people from diverse backgrounds.

What it means for the business

Since their beginning in late 2018, Sibling Cafe developed systems to reduce waste by providing their customers reusable items such as coffee cups and straws and encouraging their customers to bring their own containers for takeaway food and drinks.

They are working with local suppliers and farmers including Northside Fruits and Veg, Greenlands, Days Walk Farm and Small Batch, who supply their produce in reusable crates and containers to reduce packaging waste. With minimising plastic waste always on their mind, they also work wiith The Udderway and Schulz Organic Dairy and switched to 'milk on tap' system to use reusable kegs. Their coffee making is now completely plastic free!

Sibling Cafe uses coffee cups from I am not paper as a single-use option and also sell reusable coffee cups such as Keep Cups and cups made by local ceramic artist Linh Dinh. Organic waste including food scraps and coffee grounds is processed by Waste Ninja. By choosing locally sourced, low-mile produce, they have significantly reduced their carbon footprint.

What it means for customers

Sibling Cafe customers can bring their own containers for food and drinks, and upon purchasing a reusable cup from the shop, they can get their first coffee for free. By shopping at Sibling, customers can know they are spending for good. One hundred percent of Sibling's profits fund their training program supporting those facing barriers to social inclusion.

The impact

Sibling Cafe saves around 1,400 cups going into landfill every week. ‘It is very important to pass on our values as well as build capacity for social and environmental sustainability to our volunteers. It will help them in their future careers and will also make the hospitality industry more sustainable,' says Jesi Beaton, General Manager

What’s next?

Sibling Cafe is growing their in-house training program and working with various community organisations. They recently partnered with Fitzroy Learning Network to run an accredited coffee training course with the next cohort of learners starting in the new year. Learn more about their volunteering program.