Petrol giant On The Run has banned the use of reusable coffee cups from its stores across South Australia, in a move that's been condemned by environmentalists as harming the environment and punishing its customers.
Citing food safety concerns and possible cross-contamination, the company has banned reusable cups from more than 100 of its stores across the state, directing staff instead to use disposable cups.
"Using 'keep cups' or other food containers brought to site is a food safety risk; we cannot control contaminants such as bacteria, mould, viruses or foreign objects which may be present," the company said in a memo to staff.
The move has been strongly opposed by the state's peak environmental group Conservation SA, which said the decision bucks the trend of other cafes offering incentives to use reusable cups.
"This is a bizarre decision that punishes On the Run's own customers for trying to do the right thing by the planet," Conservation SA chief executive Craig Wilkins said.
The organisation is calling for On The Run to overturn the ban and said a staggering one million coffee cups end up in landfill every minute. "Half of the world's plastic goes into products that are used only once, like disposable coffee cups. We can turn this around, one coffee cup at a time," he said.