Last year, Mojo New Zealand’s General Manager Katy Ellis proudly announced the company’s move towards sustainability. This included an in-store policy of selling resusable cups and offering discounts to customers bringing their own reusable cups.

However, like many other coffee chains across New Zealand, this week Mojo New Zealand has placed signs in each of their outlets telling customers to only bring in clean reusable cups, as the fear of Covid-19 spreads.

Similarly, The Coffee Club – operating over sixty cafes across New Zealand – is still allowing customers to bring in their own reusable cups but is looking at alternative sanitary procedures to avoid the spread of contamination. Co-director Brad Jacobs said the biggest problem his chain is facing is larger reusable coffee cups, and how staff keep the coffee shots away from the rest of the machine.

Other cafes have taken precautions one step further, as Covid-19 cases creep higher worldwide. Takapuna Beach Café has completely banned all reusable cups. Owner James Bryant said this was to avoid both customers and staff becoming unwell, as the cup could be handled multiple times.

Although in New Zealand this may be a new idea, Bryant said he was following in the footsteps from McDonalds and Starbucks in the United States and the United Kingdom. All tumblers and reusable cups have been temporarily banned in both places until the virus risk has been reduced.

However, the Ministry of Health’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said during a stand-up on Wednesday that he would continue to be using a keep-cup.

His advice to coffee-drinkers nationwide? “You shouldn’t be going out with a keep-cup if you’re symptomatic”, he said.

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