BYO cups under COVID safe restrictions

One of the big concerns when COVID-19 restrictions were introduced was the likely increase in the amount of single-use packaging being used. Whilst not the only challenge, this included the fact that many cafes were refusing BYO coffee cups, thinking they were less safe than disposables.

Boomerang Alliance lobbied every Government, both State and Federal, to ensure that the accepted health advice that there is 'no evidence that coronavirus is spread through food or food packaging' was understood. We wanted a clear message given to both cafes and their customers that accepting BYO cups and containers, providing hygiene measures were in place, was safe.

The last thing we wanted was even more plastic litter and waste.

Whilst no State or Territory Government, with the exception of Queensland, has prohibited customers bringing their own cups to their local cafe to use for a takeaway coffee or other beverage, four State and Territory Governments have written to Boomerang Alliance to confirm they allow cafes to accept BYO cups and containers.

Those governments are the Northern Territory, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT. We thank them for the clarification and their commitment to on-going single-use plastic reductions.

Boomerang Alliance, and this is supported by the Restaurant & Catering Association, is promoting BYO cups and containers being used as long as they are clean (food outlets cannot wash them) and a 'contactless pour' procedure is followed. The contactless pour means that the only person who actually touches a BYO cup or container is the person who brings it into the cafe for takeaway purposes.

You can find out more about our advice on single use plastics and food ware at


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