woman's hand writing address on envelope

Letter of the Week: Asking a Cafe to Make Low-waste Effort

Week 7

Companies, especially small local businesses, depend on customer satisfaction to stay afloat. So, it's only fair that we let them know when we have an issue. This week, write a letter to your local coffee shop asking them to make a few small changes in order to generate less waste. Feel free to use this template word-for-word or make adjustments as you see fit.

Good afternoon,

I hope you and your staff have been doing well during this crazy year. Jumpin' Java is my go-to coffee spot. I love the atmosphere and the employees are always super friendly.

This year I'm resolving to "shrink my waste", so I've been extra aware of the plastic I come in contact with on a daily basis. I recently found out that plastic takes hundreds of years to break down and only 9% gets recycled. I also learned that paper coffee cups are actually lined with plastic, so they aren't recyclable or biodegradable. Since Americans throw away 500 billion disposable cups every day, this has become a major problem for the environment.

I'm wondering if you would consider offering a 10¢ discount to customers that bring a reusable cup. This would encourage and reward people for making a sustainable choice. Big chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts already have similar programs...although I recognize that they are, understandably, on hold for the pandemic.

Another way to reduce plastic waste would be to offer plastic lids instead of automatically giving them with each cup. I've reached out to a handful of cafe owners who already implement this policy and they confirmed that about a third of people refuse the lid after it is offered to them.

Both of these small changes would cut down on a significant amount of plastic waste and ultimately, cut down on your expenses. I hope you'll consider this request from a loyal customer.

Thank you,


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