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It’s no secret that Kiwis love their coffee. And visitors to Wānaka love to partake in our caffeinated obsession. But did you know that New Zealand discards up to 295 million single use cups per year?

This makes New Zealand one of the largest producers of coffee cup waste in the entire world. And while reusable cups and mugs are on the rise, research suggest that only 2-4% of coffee drinkers are regularly filling theirs. SUCfree Wānaka (Single Use Cup free) is one of the many organisations working to change this.

About SUCfree Wānaka

SUCfree Wānaka is a community-based campaign, led by the hospitality industry and formed under the banner of non-profit Plastic Free Wānaka, with the ultimate goal of Wānaka becoming Aotearoa’s first single-use cup free town.

Before it’s establishment, over one million plastic-lined, non-recyclable cups were piling into landfills each year. Although many cafes have now switched to using more expensive ‘compostable’ throwaway cups, like most destinations in New Zealand, Wānaka doesn’t have the infrastructure to process them.

With the help of Wastebusters, Plastic Free Wānaka and local businesses, the SUCfree campaign is supporting community-led behaviour change, making takeaway cups a thing of the past and making ‘using-your-own’ the norm.

Twenty-four cafes and caravans in Wānaka have now implemented cup-lending schemes or libraries and eleven are completely SUCfree, saving 180,000 cups from landfill annually. The 2021 Wastebusters’ Resourceful Communities survey revealed that an outstanding 72% of Wānaka residents always or usually used their own cup when getting a hot drink – a massive increase from 60% in 2019.

Click here to find out more about the campaign, the people and ideas that are driving Wānaka’s goal to be free of single-use cups.


How to go SUCfree in Wānaka

Wānaka has eleven outlets that are completely 100% SUCfree, and many more where you can borrow a cup through cup lending schemes Wanakup and AgainAgain, or use a mug library. To enjoy a SUCfree stay in our beautiful town, don’t forget to sit, BYO or borrow!

Wanakup is a non-profit organisation founded by local baristas, whose thermally-insulated reusable cups can be found at local cafes, hotels, businesses and events (as well as in Palmerston North, Nelson and New South Wales!) You can borrow a cup for a $10 deposit, then return it or swap it out for a clean one at any participating cafe or establishment – or keep the cup forever! For the first time this winter, you’ll also see Wanakup in all Cardrona and Treble Cone outlets, making that early morning coffee run so much easier!


AgainAgain is a cup lending system with a nationwide network – so you can borrow a cup in Wānaka for a $3 deposit and return it in Queenstown, Nelson, Auckland, Wellington… and get your money back!

The following locations offer a reusable cup lending option. Cafes with an asterisk* are 100% SUCFree.

Join the plastic free Wānaka revolution

If you’re after a more permanent solution – or an environmentally friendly souvenir or gift – you can join the revolution by purchasing a SUCFree Wānaka bullet cup.


These stainless steel, twin-walled cups come in pink, green or black, 12oz ($40) or 8oz ($32) – and 100% of the profits go back into reducing single-use plastics in our town. You can buy yours at the following places, or just drop us an email at and we’ll hook you up!

  • Fedeli – 47 Helwick Street
  • Big Fig – 105 Ardmore Street
  • Paper Plus – 23 Helwick Street
  • Revology Concept Store – 28 Helwick Street
  • Florence’s Food Store & Cafe – 74 Cardrona Valley Road