Plastic’s had its day, and Hoi Polloi leads the way

Issued: 30 Aug 2021

One of Townsville’s most popular espresso bars is leading the way in its move to limit the use of single-use plastics, ahead of the ban on many single-use plastic items that comes into effect on 01 September.

The Hoi Polloi Café, in Denham Lane on Ross Creek’s north bank, has had a natural inclination towards reusing and recycling since opening in 2014

“The single use plastics ban that comes into play in September will see little change within the café,” Hoi Polloi owner Conor Doyle said.

“As individuals, our staff have committed to the principles of reuse and recycle, and as a collective they are awesome in their approach to reducing our footprint when it comes to eliminating any reliance on single-use plastics.”

The September 1 ban covers single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and unenclosed bowls, as well as single-use takeaway containers and cups made from expanded polystyrene.

From this date these items can no longer be supplied in Queensland, including when they are provided free with purchased meals or sold in packets as party supplies.

Importantly, however, there will be exemptions to ensure that Queenslanders with disabilities or healthcare needs can continue to access and use any items necessary for them.

The new requirement follows a similar ban on lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags, which shows a 70 per cent reduction in plastic bag litter since the bag ban began in 2018.

The Hoi Polloi Café was recognised by Boomerang Alliance as a “Plastic Free Champion” earlier this year, highlighting the business’s drive to reuse and recycle.

“For example, our local supplier has made the permanent switch to sugarcane bagasse lids we need for our coffee cups, and we continue to look for alternative café supplies where these help us reuse and recycle.

“We support the Queensland Government’s moves to ban single-use plastics and are proud to be a part of the solution rather than contributing to the wave of plastic that can become litter, landfill, or harmful to our wildlife,” Conor said.

It’s no coincidence that the café is into recycling and reusing, with the business itself housed in one of the state’s heritage-listed repurposed buildings – the 111-year-old Howard Smith Building.

“We have mindfully created a space in the café that celebrates the past with our use of antiques and vintage furniture and fittings, and this has flowed through to how we serve our products to our customers,” Conor said.

Find further information on the upcoming ban on single-use plastics.