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OKAPI Reusables Sweetens the Deal to Ditch Single-Use Plastic

Get free coffee at Donut Petit on July 8

Every week, coffee, tea, and boba cafes in Alameda use thousands of disposable, single-use cups. Even paper cups are sometimes lined in plastic and are compostable. However, a number of local Alameda cafes are committed to reducing plastic by offering special discounts to customers who make a plan to go plastic-free by bringing their own cup or borrowing an OKAPI Reusables cup for to-go drinks for the Reusables Preferred campaign this month.

Alameda Post - someone pours a latte into an OKAPI Reusables cup, and the words Plastic Free July across the image
Image OKAPI Reusables / Instagram.

Coffee Cultures at 1926 Park St., Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden at 1223 Park St., The Local at 1333 Park St., Wescafe at 1518 Webster St., and Donut Petit at 711 Santa Clara Ave. are demonstrating their commitment to reduce plastic by offering discounts to those who join in Plastic-Free July by taking their drinks in reusable cups. And to kick-off their participation in the OKAPI cup borrowing network, Donut Petit and OKAPI will offer free coffee to those who use an OKAPI cup Saturday, July 8.

“By investing in reusable items to replace single-use paper products, you’re investing into our environment towards sustainability,” said Joann Guitarte, owner of Café Jolie, Donut Petit, and the forthcoming Café Joie Petit. “Together we can make an environmental impact one cup at a time!”

OKAPI Reusables is a simple service that allows customers to borrow a stainless steel or glass cup with a silicone lid and then return it for washing at any café in the network.

Want to give it a try?

  • Download the OKAPI Reusables app on your smartphone for Android or iPhone.
  • Membership is usually a one-time, $10 fee (not a subscription)—Get $5 off in July with promo code: ALAMEDA.
  • To borrow a cup, open the app and scan the QR code at the cafe counter when ordering.
  • Show the barista the confirmation on your phone screen, and your drink will be served in an OKAPI reusable cup.
  • Borrow up to two cups at a time. Return the cup(s) to any cafe in the network by scanning the QR code on the return bin within 2 weeks.
  • As part of the “Reusables Preferred” campaign, cup borrowers will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a $25 cafe gift card.

Borrowed cups can be returned to any OKAPI network cafe. OKAPI hopes to add more cafes to the network, which will make borrowing even easier and eliminate more plastic use.

Alameda Post - OKAPI reusable cups and a smiling person handing the viewer a cup and holding back a bunch of single use cups
Photos OKAPI Reusables.

The Plastic Free July Foundation®, a global movement to rid the planet of plastic, challenges individuals, businesses and communities to reduce plastic consumption during the month of July and beyond. More than 100 million people in 190 countries participate in the challenge, for which the organization has won multiple awards.

The Reusables Preferred campaign is a collaboration with CASA (Community Action for Sustainable Alameda) interns from Alameda High, Encinal High, and ACLC selected to help promote reusables on The Island. OKAPI is supported by the City of Alameda, CASA, ReThink Disposable, and the Alameda High School Amplify club.

OKAPI Reusables is a women-owned business started in 2021. The reusable cup networks in Portland, OR, Vancouver, WA, San Mateo County and, now, Alameda have saved more than 11,000 disposable cups from the landfill. OKAPI Reusables and the Reusables Preferred campaign are open to any Alameda cafe interested in participating.

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