It started with the plastic straws that you'd often get with a cold beverage at any given restaurant or café. A petition was created in Montreal to ban one of the worst contributors to mass waste worldwide. Quickly, shops around the city began jumping on the bandwagon, with Starbucks even announcing they would be eliminating plastic straws completely by 2020.
Now no matter where you go in the city to get yourself a refreshing ice cold drink, you'll have a pretty difficult time finding any plastic straws. While some coffee shops now offer alternatives like cardboard and bamboo straws, other spots in the city will only offer you a dirty look if you even asked for a straw.
It's seems as though Quebec has caught a lot of momentum from the environmental changes being made within Montreal, as there's now a possibility that you'll also be giving up your disposable coffee cups in the near future.
The Green Party of Quebec has proposed a province-wide system that would get rid of disposable coffee cups and replace them with reusable ones.
Getting coffee from your favourite café would be pretty much the same, except instead of getting your drink in a cup you could just toss into the trash after, you'd be given a reusable cup in exchange for a small deposit. The idea is that all coffee shops across the province would use a universal coffee cup that would be offered in different sizes, so customers wouldn't have to worry about towing around a mug from home all day.
When you go to buy a coffee, the deposit on a reusable cup would be $2 or $3 and all you have to do to get your money back is to bring the cup to any coffee shop within Quebec. The idea acutally sounds like it might work if people didn't forget to bring the cups back at the end of the day.
Since billions of coffee cups are thrown away into landfills by Canadians each year, this is definitely a progressive idea that would reverse Quebec's ecological footprint by a ton. If the plan was to come into effect in the province, it's expected there would be major protest by big chain companies that thrive on the simplicity of a typical coffee cup.
Of course, big changes would come to the restaurants and cafés as well since special machines to clean all of the reusable cups would have to be installed. It would definitely be a large shift in how companies go about selling their drinks.
As of now, nothing is certain and you'll still be getting your drinks in the same cups you're familiar with. There is a need and a trend for environmental change on the horizon, so you can probably expect to be seeing reusable cups at local coffee shops within the near future.