Council Partners Environment News

Galway City Businesses Pilot Returnable Coffee Cup System

Galway City Council is partnering with 9 innovative businesses to pilot a ‘returnable coffee cup’ system in Galway. Up to 200 million single use coffee cups are thrown away every year in Ireland. This pilot makes it easier for customers to ‘borrow’ a fresh reusable cup for €1, which can be returned and refunded at any time in any of the participating cafes.

Leading the initiative are

New cafes are welcome to engage by contacting Galway City Council at [email protected] 

Speaking about the initiative, Tiarnan McCusker, Environmental Awareness Officer with Galway City Council explained, “in October, 9 pioneering Cafes received 1,000 2GoCups each, to trial a returnable cup scheme in Galway City. This is the first time that it has been trialled on such a scale in an Irish City so we’d really encourage the public to get behind it and give it a go. We want to know did customers like the cups. Did they find it convenient to get a fresh reusable cup on every visit? Did having the cup, or knowing about the scheme, influence where they bought their coffee? This initiative could have a dramatic impact on the amount of single use cups we use in Galway, if we can learn from the pilot and scale it up across the City. I’d like to thank the 9 businesses involved, and encourage the public to support them by calling in, and giving the scheme a go.”

Stuart Elwood from Roscoes Cafe on Eglington Street commented, “this is something we’ve been thinking about for a while, as our customers are becoming more conscious of single use cups, but might forget to bring in their own reusable mug. Given that we don’t actually have any recycling facilities for these coffee cups in Ireland, and compostable cups will probably end up in landfill after 13 minutes use, we are really keen to give this a go. With great coffee, returnable cups, and great scones and pastries, we’re looking forward to people coming into give it a go!”

Kevin Murphy, CEO, 2GoCup said, “we are delighted to be working with Galway City Council and the 9 businesses on such a progressive initiative. 2GoCup’s core values have always centred on affordability and convenience – so having Galway City Council help streamline the switch to our Deposit & Return Scheme while offering coffee-goers the luxury of swapping the cups in so many cafes is a real benefit. We look forward to working with many more cafes across the city region to hopefully make Galway, and Ireland, paper cup-free.’’

Feedback about the cups and the scheme is welcome to [email protected] 

The Use Your Mug! Campaign is supported by the Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN) fund from the EPA and the Waste Prevention Fund.

Read more about the scheme at

Source: Galway City Council

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