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Article By Rob Marlowe, Cafe Culture Digital.

I was awoken this morning to a sway of emotion!

First, a cramp attacking my calf muscle, taking me from deep sleep to standing upright in severe pain, to a cup of freshly brewed, pour over coffee, single origin from PNG. To a sickening feeling in the guts at ABC News reporting on the death of baby turtles washing up on Queensland beaches; Cause of death? Plastic debris!

ABC report that the Department of Environment (DES) said “an unusually large number of week-old flatback turtles have turned up sick or dead, on the west coast of Keppel Bay. Fragments of floating hard and soft plastics have been found in the post-hatchling turtles.”

I learnt turtles feed off plankton and will not distinguish between their food and poisonous garbage floating in the ocean. I was seriously depressed by a report of an 8cm turtle, which had consumed a piece of cling wrap, which was 5cm by 2cm.

Chief Scientist Officer Col Limpus reporting on an international study currently underway tells ABC of the Peak Island nesting population, which had been tagged as hatchlings, has been in decline for some years and this may explain the extreme falling off of numbers.

The DES, who have a collaborative study with researchers in England looking at plastic problems in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and here in Australia ask that those who might come across sick or dead turtles to please contact the Wildlife hotline on 1300 130 372.

Baby Sea Turtle

I can imagine in our busy lives, although this story may be sad, one might feel far removed! However, clichés are only ever clichés because they’re true, so I reach out to the cafe owners to say, “Together we can make a difference!”

The Responsible Cafes, founded in 2013 is now Australia’s most innovative, popular and fastest-growing program. Actively engaging cafes, councils and the community to improve sustainability. The movement drives positive change in the cafe industry to reduce waste and carbon emissions, secure sustainable supply chains and drive profitability.

Responsible Cafes recognise the balance between running a business and how working together with a support of each other, we can make that difference which might go towards rehabilitating our planet. Please jump online and become a member of the Responsible Cafés movement and join them at their Café Summit


2 March: Let’s Come Together and Kick off our Vision

9 March: Action Summit – Reimagining your Responsible Cafe

16 March: Action Summit – Business as a Force for Good – Performance and Procurement 

23 March: Action Summit – Business as a Force for Good – People and Planet

30 March: Action Summit – Celebrating and Sharing your Impact

Please note these dates may change if Covid-19 restrictions continue to alter and cafes are limited in their operations. 

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