A popular Dunedin café is tackling the waste problem by introducing a ‘mug library,’ giving customers the choice to refuse disposable coffee cups without them having to bring their own. Customers at the Potpourri Vegetarian Café who use disposable cups will be charged an extra 50 cents.

The ‘mug library’ is part of a larger effort by the café to go plastic free, according to owner Hilary Procter. It echoes the international ‘choose to refuse’ movement and was initially part of Plastic Free July. Takeaway coffees also come with the option of being served in a jar with a lit, to prevent spillage during transportation.

The library is set to become a permanent fixture at the café, according to Procter. While the system is based entirely on honesty it has worked well so far, and the café has also called for donations to the library from the public to bolster its stocks.