Pioneering Aberdeen cafe leads way by banning all plastic products

Orr Cafe, in the Market has become plastic free.
Orr Cafe, in the Market has become plastic free.

An Aberdeen cafe is blazing a trail by becoming completely plastic-free.

Bosses of Oor Cafe on Market Street have said “enough is enough” and have banned plastic from all of the products they serve to customers.

Since bringing in the measure a fortnight ago, staff have reduced the number of rubbish bags they generate daily, from four to one – and 95% of their waste is now recyclable.

The cafe is now going one step further by encouraging customers to get involved, offering people buying sandwiches a 10% discount if they bring in their own lunch box.

Rose Scott, who co-owns the cafe with her daughter Emma Claridge, said customers love it – but suppliers need to do more.

“We put it on Facebook and got a massive response from our customers,” said Mrs Scott, 50.

She added: “People coming into the cafe have given us the thumbs up and it is something they have embraced.

“But I do think suppliers need to do more to help businesses make the step that we have.”

To prepare for the change, Mrs Scott looked at all the plastic the cafe used and set about finding alternatives.

That included replacing wrapped fruit and vegetables with lose produce in a paper bag, getting pastries delivered on a bakers’ tray and replacing fruit drinks with straws on the packaging with juice serviced in reusable cups.

Mrs Scott added: “It has helped us reduce our waste by three quarters, but suppliers need to do more to help.”

Mrs Scott encouraged other businesses in the city to follow suit and welcomed Aberdeen City Council’s bid to be green.

On Monday councillors will meet to discuss whether all council buildings, and arm’s-length organisations, should stop buying plastic straws.

If the ambitious proposal wins the support of councillors, it would mean plastic straws will no longer be sold in secondary schools and younger students getting milk would start to use containers with paper straws attached.