WE NEED SOLUTIONS
Sustainability and the impact from global warming are issues that those of us in the speciality coffee industry are all too familiar with, particularly when sourcing coffee beans from increasingly impoverished and climate challenged coffee-producing regions.
Closer to home, waste from the café sector has reached worrying proportions with 2 million disposable coffee cups a day in Ireland going into landfills. Solutions have been proposed by the industry, including switching to compostable cups. But sadly - at present - disposable "compostable" cups require commercial composting to actually biodegrade and most end up in general landfill anyway. And at last check these compostable cups were almost 300% more expensive that the conventional single-use cups.
With the challenges above in mind, as we did more and more research a couple of things became increasingly clear:
- There was no clear government policy, plan or practical solution businesses like us could follow.
- Our cities lack convenient public recycling infrastructure to allow people to do the 'right' thing and recycle,
- Our environment is clearly and immediately at risk.
So we have thought long and hard about how Coffeeangel - a small Irish business - could make a start, make an impact and make difference?
With no tangible or practical government programs currently in place to deal with this issue, we believe that the most effective way to begin tackling our industry’s waste problem is by not only raising awareness, reducing and recycling waste but also by helping to support research and education on environmental issues.
We explored the more conventional programs around reusable cups, such as giving a discount, but we firmly believe that our customers are as concerned about environmental issues as we are and want to create bigger impact and affect real change with their purchasing decisions.
So we created the ’#YourCupOurFuture’ initiative, whereby every time one of you, our customers, buys a coffee in one of our shops using a reusable cup, we will donate 20¢ to
Friends of the Earth Ireland, on your behalf to help support local environmental initiatives.
We realise this is only small step and a long way from the ultimate solution. But we wholeheartedly believe that by supporting #YourCupOurFuture we will not only be helping the environment by reducing the amount of single-use cups entering Irish landfill, we will also, by donating to Friends of the Earth Ireland, be addressing the larger issues of working towards a cleaner, healthier and greener world for both ourselves and that of future generations.
In the course of our research, apart from finding there is no quick and easy solution, we also discovered there was no clear policy guidelines around reusable cups. So in the interest of health and safety, legal liability, workplace safety, etc. we asked the powers that be for clarity. And the answers we received (from the FSAI) were suprisingly and refreshingly simple:
- If a customers asks to use their own re-usable cup, the food safety responsibilities will be removed from the food business to the customer respective to the request.
- It is the customers responsibility to ensure their cups are clean and suitable for use
- You should have store policy in place to protect your workers from using unsuitable cups at the request of consumers.
The long and short of this is if you wish to work towards a better environmental future by switching to a reusable cup, it is essential - in the interest of both your and our staff's health and safety - that your cup is clean before staff can handle. Given these guidelines, our staff will be unable to wash customer's reusable cups. Your understanding and cooperation with this will be greatly appreciated!
|IFSC||George's Dock, Dublin 1|
|SAS||16 South Anne Street, Dublin 2|
|PSL||27 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin 2|
|TCD||15 South Leinster Street, Dublin 2|
|HQ||3 Trinity Street, Dublin 2 - TEMPORARILY CLOSED|
Your coffee to go will look and may even taste better in one of our stylish new, glass KeepCup Brews - 8 and 12oz available both instore and online.
Please support and share #YourCupOurFuture