Cafe Virtuoso Partners With Clear Blue Sea For New Zero-Waste Coffee Container Program

Café Virtuoso, the first 100-percent certified organic specialty coffee roaster and cafe in San Diego, has just announced a partnership with Clear Blue Sea, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to cleansing the oceans of plastic pollution, to establish a zero-waste coffee container initiative. The goal of this new permanent program is to actively promote and participate in the reduction of plastics that end up in landfills and in the ocean.

Rather than receiving a paper or plastic cup when ordering a beverage, Cafe Virtuoso customers will now be given the option to have their drink served in a glass container accompanied by a metal lid and insulated sleeve constructed from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles that were directly removed from the coastline. The recovered plastic bottles are broken down and transformed into a recycled yarn, which is then woven into an insulated sleeve designed and created by North Carolina-based company Freaker USA.

Café Virtuoso will charge a one-time fee of $1.25 to participate in the zero-waste initiative which includes the glass container, lid, and sleeve. Upon return for another beverage, customers simply wash and turn in their original glass container, keeping their lid and insulated sleeve, and the cafe will provide a fresh one with the new beverage. Participating customers will also receive a 25 cent discount for each new drink order.

“We’re beyond thrilled to be partnering with Clear Blue Sea to kickstart this new solution for zero waste,” says Laurie Britton, founder and CEO of Cafe Virtuoso. “Striving to be as sustainable as possible, we’ve always provided compostable cups in our cafe, but without an official composting program here in San Diego, unless customers are composting our cups at home, it’s not helping all that much. With this new program, we can more effectively encourage and empower others to actively participate in reducing plastic waste.”

“Clear Blue Sea is devoted to discovering and implementing many methods of accomplishing our mission to rid our oceans of plastic pollution,” says Venezia Zandrelli, director of sustainability at Clear Blue Sea. “With the development of our Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris (FRED), we’ve created a scalable solution that we foresee becoming an indispensable tool for cleaning plastic from oceans around the globe. However, by creating and encouraging more participation in programs like this one with Cafe Virtuoso, we can help to ensure less plastic from ending up in our ocean ecosystems in the first place.”

For now, Café Virtuoso will still have compostable and recyclable cups as an option for customers who choose to opt out. However, in conjunction with the forecasted success of the new zero-waste program, the coffee roaster plans to phase out all single-use containers before the end of the year.

See you there….and stay healthy, San Diego!