News & Blog

Sustainability Promise

Since we opened the first EARL in 2010 we’ve been committed to making more ethical and sustainable choices across all decisions.
Whether that’s a focus on making things ourselves, to using free-range pork for ‘that’ sandwich or always choosing the more responsible packaging option.

Being responsible as a cafe, especially one that is predominantly takeaway, in 2018 takes even more consideration and transparency, so we wanted to share with you our commitment to sustainability.


Fancy. 100% recyclable (& biodegradable for paper and bamboo) for all pieces. Includes bamboo trays, unbleached cardboard, PET lids.

Everyday. 100% recyclable for all pieces. Includes cardboard sleeves, removable PET slips for separate recycling, PET salad tubs.

Breakfast. 100% recyclable (& biodegradable for paper) for all pieces. Paper bags, cardboard trays, paper liners, porridge & egg pot cups.

Catering. 100% recyclable platters, paper liners, lids with removable PET windows for separate recycling. Reusable crates for all deliveries.

Coffee. PLA cornstarch compostable & biodegradable lids, PLA compostable lined cups, PET recyclable cups for chilled summer coffees.
We also encourage reusable cup use by offering a 30c discount to all reusable cup users (Responsible Cafes).

…the tricky bit… ‘Consumables’:

EARL napkins. Made from 50% post-consumer recycled material and are 100% recyclable & biodegradable.

Carry bags. All 100% paper and recyclable, large bag is reusable, the PET handle support needs to be removed to recycle separately.

Cutlery. 100% Compostable & biodegradable PLA corn starch, all pieces. (Edit!) We’re now using wooden cutlery which is biodegradable, compostable & incredibly eco-friendly.

Straws. We have We are phasing out (Edit!) replaced plastic straws with ‘on request’ paper straws at most stores. 100% compostable & biodegradable.

Sauce containers. Polypropylene (PP) 100% recyclable.

Areas we are improving:

Introducing opt-in cutlery, napkins and bags, we’ll now ask you if you would like it. (Edit!) Catering now has opt-in cutlery, plates & napkins.

Review to reduce hygiene based kitchen consumables as much as possible, via staff training. Food handling gloves, chemicals use, reusable containers for prep and deliveries.

Having real crockery, cups & cutlery available at as many stores as possible, we are working with our landlords to make this possible at all locations. (Edit!) Now at all stores but one.

Organic Waste. Three (Edit!) Four (now) of our stores recycle organic waste including food scraps and spent coffee, via our landlords in-building systems, we look forward to this being available at all locations one day.

Sustainable & ethical food practices:

We are stringently committed to premium quality Australian produce. More than 95% of all food served at EARL is Australian produce & Australian made. We always use Australian as our first choice, from meats, cheeses, grains & seeds, dairy, fruit & veg.

Free-range is important for animal welfare and the environment, we are proud of our complete commitment to this across our products, from your free-range pork belly sandwich, to the free-range eggs we pasteurise to make mayonnaise.

We make almost all our own condiments in our Cremorne commissary kitchen, which means we control the ingredients.

We stock and use locally produced drinks, locally roasted coffee, locally sourced milk.

Designed in Melbourne, made in Melbourne, for Melburnians.

Other bits of interest:

-our stools at 360 Collins & 567 Collins are made from 80% recycled milk bottles.

-we offer self-serve tap water refills at all stores and will happily fill your water bottles.

-many people reuse our salad containers as they are sturdy and leakproof. Tag us on social with your homemade salads in them! We love it.

-our display fridges have night blinds to conserve energy and are switched off over the weekend in stores that are open Monday to Friday.

-all air-conditioning and extraction fans are on timers to avoid them being inadvertently left on, wasting energy.

-any leftover Everyday Sandwiches are sold for just $5 for the last hour of each day, anything leftover is given to EARL staff to take home. No holding over, no wastage.

We pride ourselves in considering all aspects that we can influence, to be as ethical and sustainable as possible, whilst remaining viable, compliant with food safety and offer one of the best ethically-minded convenient options in Melbourne.

(Edit!) Updates made September 2018.