Conscious cafes on the Gold Coast

Discount on your KeepCup coffee is rad, but here’s a brew of cafes on the Gold Coast doing much more to nurture behavioural changes in their customers. Meet the coffee lovers at some of our favourite local spots who are going plastic free, reducing waste and even saving turtles in the process.

Ocean 4218
1A/2475 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Proudly plastic free, this little blue gem of a cafe only hands out single-use items derived from renewable sugar cane. This means all takeaway items are compostable. Owner Abigail King-Nunes (pictured) is educating her customers about plastic pollution in her own upbeat way.

Ocean 4218 was born out of an experience Abi clearly recalls. “It was an actual specific moment at Great Barrier Reef when I saw a plastic spoon falling into the water…and swimming with turtles right next to me, something happened and I knew that I had to do something.”

“All my staff know that I am always trying to find ways to use less energy, waste less water, reuse packag-ing and create magic!”

That magic includes friendly surf vibes, VSCO coffee, and eco-cool initiatives like house made granola sold in glass jars, that when returned earn you a 10% refill discount.

Abi’s passion for the environment extends to running beach cleans with Plastic Free Gold Coast and she plans to write a children’s book soon, about turtles of course.


BKA Vegan – Burleigh
1/1837 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

This new kid on the block gets a special mention because as well as being single-use plastic free, their menu is entirely vegan.

Owner Kylie Wood says a vegan lifestyle works in harmony with reducing plastics because both choices profoundly affect our environment. “The negative impact of excess waste by humans on our planet and the animals we share it with is phenomenal” she says.

BKA have sought out plastic-free suppliers for their bar mixers and kombucha. They return all glass bot-tles to their juice supplier Sol Cleanse for sterilisation and re-use and instead of buying all new storage containers, they re-purpose plastic food tubs from neighbouring businesses.

You can hit up BKA for a scrumptious late brekky, lunch or dinner and cocktails (made even classier by their metal straws), enjoy a house made vegan cheeseboard and so much more. Guilt free dining for us all.


Caffe Republic – Ashmore
Bronberg Plaza, 150 Slayter Ave, Bundall

Ever asked a barista to wash your dirty reusable cup? (Many times.) Well now you don’t have to feel awkward about it. Caffe Republic run a ‘cup club’, where you buy in for $10 and get a reusable cup, to drink out of and bring back dirty for a new one, every time!

Made from rice husks, the cups transform an agricultural waste product into reusable yet biodegradable products. Win-Win!

Chef and owner Peter Dufty is also excited that their “coffee supplier is almost ready with 100% recycla-ble cups plus a bin for them that gets picked up every week.”

Caffe Republic’s menu is nourishing, caters to all dietary types and their liquid concoctions are something else, with ingredients like house made turmeric paste packing a citrus punch in their Sunrise Smoothie.


Honourable mentions

Drool worthy Instagram accounts and waste-defying ideas make these cafes up and down the coast worth checking out too.

Mr Browns Tuckshop in Labrador encourages customers to BYO cups and they are looking into plastic al-ternatives, but want to ensure the costs aren’t passed onto customers.

Blackboard Coffee in Varsity Lakes use biodegrabable plastics and they intend to eliminate paper dockets and move to a digital order system. Embrace the modern age we say!

Little Mali in Rainbow Bay use compostable sugarcane, eco cutlery and recycled serviettes and menu pa-per – all small actions that make a big difference overall.


The only thing more refreshing than a cold brew coffee from one of the above is to see these cafes serving up their own blend of environmental activism. As consumers it’s so important we continue to support businesses like these so that low impact solutions remain viable and become commonplace.

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