Killarney to be the first town in Ireland to stop using single-use coffee cups

Killarney to be the first town in Ireland to stop using single-use coffee cups
The Killarney Coffee Cup Project has been signed up to by 25 local cafés and 22 hotels in the area, making it the first town in Ireland to stop serving take-away coffee in single-use cups.  Participating businesses will take part in the initiative on a 12-month basis and will no longer offer single-use coffee cups starting from 31 July.

In order to make sure they don’t turn customers away because they don’t have their own reusable cups, participating cafés have also agreed to introduce a collective deposit system in partnership with 2GoCup. Under the system, customers can purchase a reusable cup for a €2 deposit which is refundable when the cup is returned at any of the participating locations.

The announcement of the project comes ahead of the incoming ‘Latte Levy’ that is due to come into effect this summer and will add 20c to the cost of a cup of coffee sold in a disposable cup.  As Killarney is known for its natural beauty and is a popular tourism destination as a result, which has led to the decision to protect the local environment through the project.

“Killarney is recognised globally as Ireland’s leading tourist town with its surrounding National Park and UNESCO Biosphere as key attractions,” read a statement accompanying the announcement.

“Recent voluntary park 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 coffee shops collectively agreed that action was required. It is hoped that this new measure will have a visible impact on litter in the town and its surrounding environment.”

Minister of state Ossian Smyth 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.”

Killian Treacy, owner of LUNA deli + wine in Killarney said “We are delighted to be in a position to make Killarney single use coffee cups free. This was a really brave decision by our local coffee shops, but it is something that we are really excited by, particularly given we are the first town to introduce this measure.

“We believe other towns will soon follow suit when they see the positive impact this will have on Killarney.

“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.”