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East side café offering every drink ordered to-go in a free reusable glass jar

Posted at 10:28 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 10:31:39-04

MILWAUKEE – There are a lot of ways to make your coffee exactly how you like it – change your milk, add some honey, put a little extra foam on top.

But what if you want to make your coffee green?

At Interval Cafe, they're trying to do something good for the planet.

Every to-go customer now has the option to skip the paper cup and plastic lid and go with glass instead.

Owner Ryan Hoban said offering every drink ordered to-go in a reusable glass jar is the next step in trying to run an environmentally aware business.

"We're slowly figuring out that you can't just talk about sustainability, you need to figure it out as the whole picture of what you do," Hoban said.

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On top of that, Interval does not charge a penny to do it.

"We need to make this as easy as possible for people to kind of adopt it. So what we do is give them away for free and hopefully they come back," he said.

This is a trend that started on the West Coast.

As far as the crew at Interval can tell, they're the first in Milwaukee to give it a try.

Why try something different?

Because the explosion of coffee shops across the country means an explosion of trash.

For every latte or cold brew, figure you're walking out the door with a plastic or paper cup.

Maybe you take a paper sleeve, and of course there's a lid.

All those cups add up.

In 2019, a study estimated we go through 16 billion paper coffee cups around the world each year.

With that much waste in play, Hoban says the jars idea is at least worth a shot.

"I think this is the next experiment, right? I don't know that this a natural evolution where you'll see Starbucks adopting a bunch of glass jars," he said.

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But they might want to.

If the jars catch on and people keep coming back with them, Interval could actually make money.

Because Hoban would be buying fewer cups to send out the door – destined for the trash.

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