Café Dunk: A Sanitising Solution

Two Australian entrepreneurs have teamed up and created a solution for the sanitisation of reusable coffee cups.

In Australia, one billion paper coffee cups, along with their plastic lids, are thrown away every year. There are numerous sources that cite the increasing use of paper coffee cups in Australia and the impact on the sustainability of both ‘regular’ and even recyclable paper cups. Most agree the best solution is the reusable cup.

The problem with the reusable cup, especially in the new COVID environment, is how to quickly sanitise them to keep both customers and café workers safe from the spread of germs and disease.

Sean Edwards is a well-known name in café circles. As founder of the Café Culture brand, he and his entrepreneurial team have long been thought leaders in all things coffee and café. As keen advocates and campaigners for sustainability through the widespread use of reusable cups since the late 90’s, they watched with growing alarm as COVID pandemic restrictions all but forced cafes and customers to stop using them.

Greg Gates, Managing Director of the Sirron Holdings Group, has become a well-known name in sustainability in business, leading the Group operations to being close to carbon neutral through energy efficiencies and technology improvements over the past 5 years.

A casual conversation about hospitality sanitising products between these two innovators during COVID restrictions revealed their common concern at the implications of sustainability on the drop in reusable cup use. They quickly identified that the difficulty of managing the speedy cleaning and sanitising of the reusable cups was a problem no one seemed able to tackle.

The solution was a solution.

With the instant alignment between the sustainability values at the heart of both the Sirron Group and Edward’s Café Culture organisation, the pair mobilised their respective teams to collaborate on solving the key issues holding the industry back: speed and ease of application and impact of the product on baristas, equipment and the reusable cups themselves.

Edwards and Gates developed a food-grade ‘dunking’ solution for reusable cups that sanitises in 30 seconds-1 minute. By the time a customer has ordered and paid for their coffee, the cup is ready for the barista to make it.

At the moment Café Dunk is only available in Australia.