Cleanliness - a matter of Culture

It makes abundant sense to encourage or even mandate the use of tableware.

by Werner P. Bauer

In all likelihood, the findings about cleanliness in Italian cities reproduced above are related to the fact that in Italy there is a culture, developed for centuries, of having a quick coffee at the bar in cafes.

Disposable plastic cups also exist, but their use is less widespread than in Germany, for example.   

Vsiors in Intaly realized how often and how naturally people in Italy drink their coffee standing up at the bar.

Here are some photos ...






 Through its coffee culture alone, Italy is significantly reducing the amount of plastic waste.

Where in Germany 2.8 billion (trillion) disposable cups (40% of which are pure plastic) and 1.3 billion plastic lids are consumed annually, in Italy caffè al bar, coffee at the bar, is considered part of Italian culture.

The Blog by "Mamis Caffe - Un amore Italiano” made a publication about the 7 unwritten laws of coffee culture in Italy. One of the rules states that when Italians are in a hurry you will not find them taking their coffee to go, instead they will quickly drink an expresso standing at the bar. Related to this rule, the next rule states that whoever drinks their coffee at the bar pays less than the people drinking their coffee at a table. This publication claims that there is a maximum of 1 Euro price set by law for the coffee which is drank at the bar. We have not found anything about a current law that regulates a maximum price of coffee at the bar. However, there is a price difference between the coffee price drank at the bar and at the table given the service surcharge added. The price of an Espresso was once limited to 1 Euro but has now raised to 1.10 Euro or even 1.50 Euro in expensive cities such as Milan. The increase of prices in 2022 went from 3.6% in Bolonia up to 10% in Venezia.   


Also, as of late, there is sometimes a distinction between paying by cash and paying by card, as some cash owners oppose being forced to pay by card (no matter what the amount). In addition, prices have generally increased as energy and raw material costs have doubled. The price of coffee is a highly observed index, and Italians are very sensitive to its increase. It is a matter of tradition and way of life. A bar that goes above the local price level automatically loses customers.

To rely on reusable cups instead of disposable cups is, in my opinion, too short-sighted:

Picture WB:  





published: , 6|2023
Keywords: No Littering - Clean Cities, Collection, Logistics, Reuse, Reduce, Plastics, Italy