Single Use Coffee Cup Reduction in Ireland
A recent UN report revealed that a staggering 8 million tonne of plastic is finding its way into the ocean every year. It has been predicted by 2050 that plastics will outweigh fish in our oceans.
Dublin City Council has banned disposable coffee cups in its offices. The Council has agreed to set up an internal committee to review a blanket ban on disposable coffee cups in-house and areas within their control.
A similar move was made by Meath County Council in 2015 followed by Cork City Council in early 2017. The announcement comes amid a public movement away from disposable plastic. A number of coffee shops around the country already offer discounts to customers who bring their own takeaway cups. Green Party representative in Cork North Central, Oliver Moran, says it is a small move but an important one.
“It won't change the world in one go, but it shows what a new economy would be like. One that isn't wasteful or throwaway. Local authorities have an important role in showing that to people and taking the lead.
Meanwhile, a new “latte levy is being considered by the Government which would see an additional 10 to 15 cent added to the price of a coffee. The levy would be applied in a similar manner to the plastic bag levy. Two million disposable coffee cups are currently sent to landfill sites in Ireland every day.
How to Make the Switch at Work
Ban paper & plastic cups and invest in mugs or reusable coffee cups for your staff, move to no-waste lunches.
It takes everyone to do their part where they can. While in the office, opt for a ceramic mug for your morning coffee and if you're on the go, try grabbing a tumbler.Here at Kollect, we are huge coffee advocates and it was a common place to grab a coffee on the go from the coffee shop in the building, but having switched to our own ceramic coffee mugs, not only are we now saving the environment but also saving our pockets - most of us have noticed we can save up to €20 a week! Its a win-win situation...
Does your office use paper coffee cups, plastic utensils, or sugar packets? These disposable items create waste and use energy and resources to make.
Reusable dishware - including cutlery and cups - are the best environmental option, and they're often cheaper in the long run, since they reduce the cost of purchasing and disposing of throw-away items. They're also nicer to use - ever try cutting something with a plastic knife?
Why Make The Switch? 99.75% of Coffee Cups Are Not Recycled!
It's gradually becoming common knowledge that it's not as easy to recycle your takeaway coffee cup as people may have thought.
It's the mixture of paper and plastic in their inner lining - designed to make them both heat and leakproof - that causes difficulties. Polystyrene (Styrofoam) disposable cups aren't biodegradable, and neither are most paper cups. Not to mention the lids and straws, which are plastic.
To put things into perspective, if an individual purchases a disposable cup every day, it will create roughly 9 pounds of waste per year. 9 pounds of waste multiplied by 324.2 million citizens (based on 2016 census) is nearly 1.5 million tons of waste annually.
Be sure to support companies that are driving green and sustainable options and keep an eye out for incentives that aim to encourage waste reduction. Did you know that most coffee shops will discount your purchase if you bring your own mug? It's a nice gesture but more people need to take advantage of it.
Let's be excited to make positive changes that will benefit our environment. Your examples may even generate others to follow along.