“A cup or a pot?” For decades this was the main query when it came to enjoying coffee in a German restaurant or café. Today the question is: “disposable or bamboo?” An increasing number of coffee drinkers are making the environmentally friendly decision to order their coffee in reusable cups when travelling. In turn, restaurant owners have decided to reward that by offering a small discount. This concept is in full swing at Frankfurt Airport (FRA), with all restaurants in both terminals participating. In line with the initiative, Fraport, the airport’s operator, has now introduced stylish bamboo mugs with an airport-themed design.
About 25,000 hot beverages are passed across the counters of Frankfurt Airport’s restaurants and cafés every day. FRA is one of the most important and busiest international aviation hubs that sees a large number of transfer passengers. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the customers, who are often in a hurry, order their coffee or tea to go. In order to sustainably decrease the use of disposable cups, restaurant owners from both terminals came together in an agreement and are offering an incentive to those patrons who bring their own cup – whether made of porcelain, bamboo or any other material. Depending on the restaurant, getting your own cup filled could equate to a discount of up to 50 cents on the drink ordered. Alternatively, passengers, guests and airport staff can donate the discount to an environmental group, thus doing good for the environment in a twofold way.
“Passengers and staff can now purchase the perfect reusable travel cup right here at Frankfurt Airport,” explains Daniel Gemander from Airport Retailing, who is responsible for managing the launch of FRA’s reusable cup. Made from a material as light as bamboo, it’s the ideal travel companion. The cup was created by Berlin-based designer Julia Schonlau and exhibits everyday scenes of life at the airport. It is available at over 50 participating cafés and restaurants throughout FRA, at a cost of €12.95 – including the first filling. “We’re especially happy that all restaurants in the terminals are taking part,” adds Gemander. “That makes it more appealing for frequent flyers and airport staff to adopt the reusable cups. If we can reach these two groups then we’ve already made significant progress. Of course, there’s nothing like taking the time to linger over a good cup of coffee from a classic porcelain cup.”
The Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection also welcomes Frankfurt Airport’s new sustainability project. In 2016, the ministry launched the “BonusBecher” (bonus cup) initiative, which more than 3,600 businesses have since joined statewide. All of them offer a discount for using reusable cups. The goal of the initiative is to sustainably reduce the number of disposables. In Germany alone, more than 2.8 million cups land in the trash each year. Thanks to the many airport restaurants and cafes now joining the effort, this number will soon be reduced.