Westmeath County Council are inviting Tidy Towns committees to take part in an initiative that will tackle the scourge of disposable coffee cups in the county during National Spring Clean Week in April.
The project ‘Choose to Reuse’ is a project that influences people to change behaviour and embrace waste prevention and reuse. The project invites Tidy Town Groups to liaise with local cafes/retailers of takeaway coffee and encourage them to work with them and promote the use of Reusable Cups. Members of the Council’s Environment, Water and Emergency Services Strategic Policy Committee welcomed this initiative with Cathaoirleach of the Committee, Cllr. Paul Hogan, requesting the committee members to promote the initiative on their own social media platforms.
Ruth Maxwell, Environment Department, Westmeath County Council, outlined the scale of the problem during her presentation with 22,000 coffee cups being disposed of every hour in Ireland, 528,000 daily and in excess of 200 million annually.
The Council provides a stock of cups to the Tidy Towns groups and they supply to their local cafe/retailer when the cafe/retailer signs up to the Conscious Cup campaign.
“Both parties win in this initiative. The Tidy Towns group are preventing waste being created, are participating in a project that fits the ‘Sustainability - doing more with less’ category of the Tidy Towns competition and it’s also a fundraiser as they keep the money from the sale of the cups to fund their activities. The benefits for the cafe/retailer includes savings on the cost of buying disposable cups, savings on the waste charges of disposing of these cups, promoting their own business locally and nationally and supporting their local Tidy Towns groups,” Ruth commented.
The Conscious Cup campaign aims to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use cups in Ireland. It was started in late 2016 by a group of concerned individuals who, inspired by similar initiatives of cafes and citizens around the world.
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