MOST PEOPLE drink their coffee, dispose of the cup and never spare a thought about what happens to it or where it could end up.
But with their newly-acquired business, Greenwares Australia, Frank and Roz Bresnik hope to change people's everyday habits one compostable cup at a time.
Greenwares Australia specialises in takeaway plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and bags made from natural fibres that will eventually break down rather than ending up as landfill. These fibres include palm leaf, sugarcane fibre, polylactide, soft European wood and corn-based starch plastic.
The business also concentrates on reducing food miles by selling locally blended coffee beans from the Jindebah brand and Glenbog teas created in Burra.
Mr Bresnik said the motivation comes from wanting to cut down on unnecessary waste, an old-fashioned value that has been somewhat forgotten these days.
"I hate to throw anything away, it's been passed down as a tradition in my family, every one of us is a hoarder, we have an interest in re-using things and the idea that things shouldn't just be thrown away," he said.
"People need to understand we're not doing the planet any favours at the moment. Every one of us, just by changing our habits, can create a place that is sustainable for future generations."
Mr Bresnik first came across Greenwares Australia when sourcing eco-friendly products for the couple's cafe, The Copper Kettle, which they purchased in 2010.
"When we purchased The Copper Kettle, the idea was always to make it environmentally-friendly. That meant no plastic and no polystyrene as much as possible," he said.
When Greenwares Australia's creator and previous business owner, Jo Hobson, was looking to sell up she came knocking on the Bresnik's door.
Mr Bresnik quotes a well-known advertisement slogan. "I liked the product so much, I bought the company."
The benefit of having the cafe and also being a catering supplier is that he can test the products.
"Yes, we've trialled the food packaging, so we can say "Yes, that works or doesn't work"," he said. "There are so many businesses out there flogging off these types of items and some just don't cut the mustard.
"We've poured hot liquid into some [eco-friendly cups] and they've just melted in front of our eyes."
Mr Bresnik admits incorporating environmentally-friendly products does cost a business more in comparison to their plastic and polystyrene counterparts.
But he said the interest is there with 90-95 per cent of the business directed to wholesale orders from a number of local cafes as well as companies in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
The remaining 5 to 10 per cent comes from retail sales made from their shop in City Arcade
The company's latest addition to their product line is a BioCup, a reusable and refillable coffee cup.
Mr Bresnik is pushing the incentive by offering customers discounted coffee if they bring their BioCup in for a re-fill.
"Our newest addition is going quite well," he said. "I think people realise that we do need to change our habits. By changing habits we can do the right thing one step at a time."