How You Can Go Single-Use Cup Free in Wanaka

With SUCFree Wanaka and Wanakup

It’s no secret that Kiwis love their coffee. And visitors to Wanaka 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 Wanaka (Single Use Cup free) is one of the many organizations working to change this. 

Another organization is Wanakup, a local startup established in 2019, just last year! Reusable cups are easily forgettable, yet with a name as catchy as Wanakup, who wouldn’t ‘want a cup?’ Operating as a charitable trust, its mission is clear: to reduce the amount of waste generated in cafes by providing an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to takeaway cups. The ideal would be to eventually eliminate disposable cups completely, making reusable cups the only option.

The cup

Wanakups are minimalist and thermally-insulated, made from recyclable stainless steel. In other words, you don’t need a cardboard sleeve, and your coffee stays hot. Wanakups are also some of the most durable cups you’ll find on the market. Most importantly, baristas can attest to the fact that it’s easy to pour a perfect cup of coffee into a Wanakup, without ruining any of the flavor.

A barista pours a coffee into a reusable Wanakup in Wanaka, New Zealand


How it works

For a $10 deposit, anyone can walk into any participating cafe and get their coffee in a Wanakup. You can then return the cup and receive your $10 back, swap it out your dirty cup for a clean one, or simply keep the cup forever! Wanakup is operational in dozens of cafes across Central Otago, and is growing, making it more and more accessible to the public.

Wanakups on display in a shop in Wanaka, New Zealand


Why it's different

Convincing businesses and people to spend extra money on something that will make a noticeable impact on reducing waste can be tough. That said, because Wanakups are merely the price of 2 cups of coffee, and the businesses involved are leasing the cups, it immediately becomes one of the most economically viable reusable cup options for everybody. By creating a quality product, at a cheap price, Wanakup encourages people to choose the more sustainable option, whilst getting them excited about helping the environment.

Wanakup has made some incredible strides in making their cups available in cafes across the South Island. They've also sponsored major local events like the Wanaka A&P Show and the Wanaka Beerfest.

A Wanakup at the Wanaka Beerfest


Where can I go SUCfree in Wanaka?

By simply giving people a day-to-day option to help reduce their overall carbon footprint, Wanakup will help drastically diminish the amount of waste piling up in our landfills and oceans. It’s a small change in the way Kiwis drink our everyday coffee, but an important one for the future of our planet. 

Wanaka has several businesses that offer Wanakup and other reusable cups, with several opting to completely eliminate single-use cups.

-          Federal Diner

-          Alchemy Café

-          Ritual Espresso Café

-          Big Fig

-          Relishes Café

-          Florence’s Foodstore & Café

-          Monkey Farm

-          Pembroke Patisserie

-          Warbirds & Wheels

-          Hawea Store & Kitchen     

-          Edgewater Resort

-          Hammer & Nail Cafe

-          New World Three Parks Cafe

-          Double Black Cafe   

Beer in a Wanakup on the beach

Join us in the revolution against plastics and go SUCFree!