Pictured: Sinead McCarthy, Brehon Hotel; Tracy Coyne, International Hotel; Michael Jacobi, Hayfield Collection; Catriona White, International Hotel and Jason Clifford, Dunloe Hotel.
The move to reusables is estimated to remove over 1 million single-use coffee cups from the town annually
The Killarney Coffee Cup Project, which aims to make Killarney Ireland’s first single-use coffee cup free town, launched this week supported by 21 hotels and 25 local independent coffee shops. It is estimated that the reusable takeaway system will remove over one million single-use coffee cups from the town annually, or 18.5 tonnes of waste. The local independent coffee shops and hotels will no longer offer single-use coffee cups from 31 July.
Recent clean-ups revealed that one of the most common forms of waste found in the Killarney National Park was single-use coffee cups. Recognising the negative impacts this waste was having on the local environment, the local businesses collectively agreed that action was required.
Commenting on the move, Killian Treacy, owner of LUNA deli + wine, and spokesperson for the group, said: “We are already seeing a lot of customers bringing their reusable coffee cups into our shops and believe Killarney is ready for this change. The decision has been taken for the collective good of the town by removing 18.5 tonnes of waste per year while also ensuring that the cost of takeaway coffee remains the same for our customers. We are really excited by this change and are proud that Killarney is leading the way with this important initiative”.
Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, said: “It’s great to see the town of Killarney taking the initiative. Killarney’s economy is tied to its beautiful natural environment and this scheme will reduce litter, save money on disposable cups for the businesses and save the public from paying the cup levy.”
While the new measures primarily promote the use of consumers’ own reusable cups, those that do not have a reusable cup will not be left without access to takeaway coffee. The participating coffee shops have also agreed to introduce a collective deposit system by partnering with 2GoCup. The partnership enables customers to purchase a reusable cup for a €2 deposit which is refundable when the cup is returned at any of the participating locations in Killarney or at 350 existing locations nationwide.
The decision coincides with the introduction of the ‘Latte Levy’, an impending 20c tax on single-use coffee cups. The introduction of a reusable model ensures that the price of takeaway coffee will remain the same in the town for consumers.