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If you think about one of the most common consumables that comes in disposable packaging, coffee is surely at the top of that list. As devastating as it is, many people are still unaware that most coffee cups are actually not recyclable, which means that (almost) every time you grab a cup-to-go from your favourite cafe, it's going straight to the landfill. During a time when every cup of coffee we enjoy outside the comfort of our own homes has to be in a takeaway cup, the solution to this is tricky. Pre-COVID, almost every Toronto cafe accepted reusable cups to pour your brew into, but beyond that, what about all the other waste that is unavoidably created at a coffee shop? Well, Poured Coffee is here the solve this problem with the first-of-its-kind cafe that promises to be completely package-free and environmentally-conscious.
The duo behind Poured Coffee are self-proclaimed "coffee lovers who want to make a change to the way coffee is packaged, consumed and enjoyed." They've certainly done so with their new cafe, which opened up late last year at 2165 Danforth Avenue and has been slinging waste-free coffee, treats, sandwiches and of course, reusable mugs. They partner with local roasters to purchase their coffee beans in food-grade containers that can be returned and refilled once they run out, and they source milk in glass bottles to add a creamy touch to your beverage without the throwaway packaging.
You may be wondering how to pick up a coffee from Poured if you forget your travel mug since there is currently no indoor dining allowed. Luckily, they've come up with a creative solution for the unprepared by housing an "Ugly Mug Library" in-store, where they give old mugs that are donated from folks across the city a second life (and donations are highly encouraged from anyone who drops by). In terms of food, Poured serves up delicious croissants, donuts, cookies, cinnamon buns and savoury sandwiches to curb your hunger, all of which are purchased waste-free by the cafe and stored in glass jars to serve to guests who bring their own bags or containers (or very clean hands).
Additionally, they share their space with The RE Place, a store that offers a wide range of sustainable products where customers can stock up on a lovely to-go mug, some beeswax wrap or a cute cloth bag to house your edible goodies. It just goes to show that if you arrive prepared or are willing to make a small investment in reusable items, it can make a world of difference without impacting your life (or wallet) greatly. At Poured Coffee, they are on a mission to lower the 1 million disposable coffee cups with extremely short lives that are thrown out every day in the GTA (yes, you read that correctly). With small changes like this and leaders like Poured showing us the way, we as consumers can make a huge impact on how we are consuming and treating our planet.