Local coffee shops ahead of the environmentally conscious curve

PADUCAH — International coffee chain Starbucks has pledged to ban all plastic straws by 2020. United Airlines also decided to ban all straws and plastic mixers by the end of July.

Some local coffee shops have already made efforts to go green.

Since they opened in the Paducah Coke Plant about three years ago, Piper’s Tea & Coffee has striven to be environmentally friendly.

“We’ve always had a focus on using recyclable products and keeping our carbon footprint down,” says owner Peter Barnett.

You get your drink in a glass cup if you’re not taking it to go. And the plastic cups for those who have to hit the road are environmentally friendly.

“Our plastic cups come from fully, 100-percent recyclable products,” Barnett said. “The paper cups are obviously a lot easier to recycle.”

Piper’s roasts their own coffee beans just down the hallway, which he says also reduces their carbon footprint.

Etcetera Coffee in LowerTown, uses 60,000 plastic straws a year. Manager Levi McDuffee is ready to take the next step to cut back on plastic.

“We found a couple companies that have what they call ‘sippy cup lids,’” McDuffee said. “They’re just lids that are open but used for cold drinks.”

It’s a pricey change for the local business, but one they’re willing to make.

“We’re always down to take a hit for the environment or for our customers.” McDuffee said.

If you’re trying to reduce your own personal use of plastic, you can take your own reusable cup into Etcetera, and they’ll give you a discount.

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