OKPAI Teams with Local Cafés for Environment

Laria Pippen -- Debi Ryan (left) shows off her latte in an OKAPI Reusables cup to go. Island Savoy baristas, Michael and Ben enthusiastic about the less waste option for drinks.
Laria Pippen -- Debi Ryan (left) shows off her latte in an OKAPI Reusables cup to go. Island Savoy baristas, Michael and Ben enthusiastic about the less waste option for drinks.

OKPAI Teams with Local Cafés for Environment

In an effort to reduce the staggering number of single-use cups that fill landfills and litter streets, parks and waterways, Community Action for Sustainable Alameda (CASA) is offering customers $1 off their favorite drink every time they use an OKAPI Reusables cup from now through Oct. 15.

It’s easy to make reusable the new routine! OKAPI hot and cold cups can now be found at seven Alameda cafe locations where customers can save $1 every time they say no to disposable and use an OKAPI cup to-go. Scott Cordle, owner of Mosley's Café started carrying OKAPI cups over the summer and the response has been good, though he hopes adoption increases with the $1 off incentive.

"The OKAPI reusable cups are great,” said Cordle. “I love this option for customers on the go, and even for those who want to hang out at the cafe and then take their drink to go. Eliminating waste from disposable cups and protecting the environment are really important to me. I hope that more people give OKAPI cups a try and make them a new habit.”

Billions of disposable cups are thrown away every year. Every paper or plastic cup saved from the landfill, ocean, and environment is critical; that’s why CASA is incentivizing reusables by offering a dollar off every coffee, tea, juice, boba, smoothie or other prepared cafe drink you order in an OKAPI cup.

“The more people who adopt reusables, the closer Alameda gets to meeting its zero waste goals,” said Debi Ryan, sustainability advocate and CASA Board President. So, enjoy the drink, not the waste.

It takes approximately 30 minutes to consume a drink on the go. What happens next impacts a lifetime:

  • only 5% of plastic generated nationwide is actually recycled, the rest goes to landfill, ocean, and environment - this includes disposable cup lids
  • paper cups take 30 years to breakdown in landfill; plastic cups take 450 years
  • the plastic lining from “paper” coffee cups leach microplastics into the liquid and release potentially toxic chemicals into the environment if not properly disposed

In partnership with the City of Alameda, ReThink Disposable and Alameda High School’s Amplify club, a group focused on environmental solutions, CASA is asking café customers to enjoy their drink, the cup and the extra dollar in their pocket.

OKAPI is a convenient, simple way to reduce waste by borrowing a to-go cup at your favorite cafe. Download the app at https://okapi-reusables.com; borrow 1-2 cups for up to two weeks and return to any network café in Alameda (Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden, The Local, Coffee Cultures, Wescafe, Donut Petit, Mosley’s, and Island Savoy).

Café’s do the cleaning and sanitizing and customers get a clean cup each time they borrow. It’s a win-win for cafés and consumers, as Island Savoy owner, Mike Stevens explains:

“OKAPI is one of those ideas you wonder why someone didn’t think of years ago. For the cafe owner, it is a near effortless way to meet our reusable goals,” said Stevens. “For the consumer, it solves the ‘I forgot to wash my travel mug’ dilemma.”

OKAPI Reusables is a women-owned business working to make returnable cups a great experience for baristas, café owners, and everyone who likes coffee and boba to-go.