War on waste! Tonic Cafe in Neutral Bay bans disposable coffee cups

Jagos on Miller, North Sydney
Jagos on Miller, North Sydney

In Australia, it is estimated that 3 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away each year, as they are not recyclable, because of the plastic lining inside the paper cup. But more and more cafes are waging a ‘war on waste’ by encouraging people to bring reusable ‘keep cups’ or banning disposable cups altogether! Here’s the local cafes that are joining the fight.

The Better Business Partnership has partnered with the Responsible Cafes program, which encourages cafes to offer a discount to customers who bring their own cups. A complete list of cafes on the North Shore who offer this are detailed below.

And in an even bolder move, Tonic Lane in Neutral Bay has completely banned single-use disposable coffee cups from 1 August 2017. Instead, they are encouraging hot drink lovers to bring their own reusable cups, or to help themselves to a free ceramic mug (which they need to return), in an attempt to reduce unnecessary waste going to landfill.


Lain Tapsall, owner of Tonic Lane was inspired to make her café “disposable cup free” after watching the ABC TV series “War on Waste”.

“In partnership with our customers we are eliminating disposable cups and welcoming reusable mugs or if they forget their cup we will give them one for free!”  said Lain.

“If customers really want a disposable cup we will provide them with a biodegradable single-use cup for 50 cents extra” said Lain.

Tonic Lane’s efforts have been verified and accredited by the Better Business Partnership, a joint council service funded by Ku-ring-gai Council, North Sydney Council and Willoughby City Council to assist businesses who are working towards success through sustainability. Better Business Partnership is a free service available to local businesses. Click here for more information.

Jagos on Miller, North Sydney

Jagos on Miller, North Sydney

Where to find Responsible Cafes on the North Shore:


  • GG espresso, 4 Broadcast Way


  • About Life, 520 Miller St
  • Laneway Café, 457 Miller St
  • Maker’s Loft, 205 Ernest St


  • Four Saints Espresso and Kitchen, Shop 19, 100 Edinburgh Rd


  • Don Adan Coffee too, 65-67 Parraween St


  • 5Loaves 2Fish, 23/455 Victoria Ave
  • Blend Cafe Dougherty Community Centre, 7 Victor St
  • Soul Origin Chatswood Chase, 345 Victoria Ave
  • Soul Origin Westfield, 1 Anderson St
  • Steam Engine Coffee, Chatswood Interchange, 25/436 Victoria Ave
  • Tea Square Café, Mandarin Centre, 224/65 Albert Ave
  • Two Jays Cafe & Burger Bar, 2/31 Victor St

Crows Nest:

  • About Life, 13 Willoughby Rd
  • BOOM! Eatery, 79 Willoughby Rd
  • Double Cross Espresso Bar, 118 Willoughby Rd
  • Eighty Ate, 88 West St
  • ZarBar, 2/8 Clarke St

East Lindfield: 

  • That Great Market Lindfield, 9 Wellington Rd


  • Little Gem Café, 1 Moree Street
  • Pure Brew Co, 1 St Johns Ave  


  • Bella Blue Café, 1/303 Pacific Hwy
  • The Runaway Spoon, 3 Kochia Ln

Middle Cove:

  • Kiss Me Cake, 161 Eastern Valley Way

Milsons Point:

  • Coney Café, Luna Park, 1 Olympic Drive

Neutral Bay

  • Tonic Lane, Shop 6, 8 Young Lane

North Sydney:

  • Bao Shop, 80 Mount St
  • Bar Bellaccino, 54 Miller St
  • Charlie & Frank’s 110 Walker St
  • GG espresso, Coca-Cola Place, 40 Mount St
  • GG espresso, 40 Miller St
  • Jagos on Miller, 232 Miller St
  • Lot No. 50, 50 Berry St
  • Mary MacKillop Place, 7 Mount St
  • Soul Origin Greenwood Plaza, 36 Blue St
  • The Greens, 50 Ridge Street
  • Underground Espresso, m41/36 Blue St

North Willoughby:

  • Via Alta Espresso, 197 High St


  • Jack & Co, 1103 Pacific Hwy

St Ives: 

  • Rosedale Cottage, 175 Rosedale Rd

St Leonards:

  • The Moody Chef, 1/30 Atchison St
  • The Moody Chef, 207 Pacific Hwy


  • La Stazione, 27 Rohini St


  • Danes Wahroonga, 12 Railway Ave


  • Coal Loader Café, 2-10 Balls Head Drive
  • Waterview at Waverton, 97 Bay Rd


  • Blend Poolside, 2 Small St

The list above is current as at 14 August 2017. For the latest additions, click here.


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