CASTLEBAR Tidy Towns and Mayo County Council have teamed up to deliver a Keep Cup initiative aimed at cutting down on the amount of waste and litter generated by the use of disposable cups.
Duncan Stewart of RTÉ’s Eco-Eye series officially launched the campaign at an event in the Linenhall Arts Centre Cafe, Castlebar, where the reusable cups are for sale.
The reusable cups are available in several coffee shops and retailers throughout Castlebar and offer an environmentally friendly alternative for take-away hot beverages.
The reusable cups, which are compatible with hot drink dispensers, can be purchased in a choice of colours, including the ‘red and green’ of Mayo.
Mayo County Council is subsidising the cost of the cups for consumers so that they are available at a cost of €5.
Duncan spoke with passion about the campaign and encouraged all retailers of hot drinks in the town to move away from the sale of drinks in disposable cups and to encourage their consumers to purchase and reuse the Keep Cups.
He complimented the partnership of the Tidy Towns, local authority and local businesses, and encouraged Castlebar to lead the way nationally and globally in moving away from the use of disposable cups.
Sharon Cameron, environment awareness officer with Mayo County Council, explained that the disposable cups we get when we buy a tea or coffee are usually not recyclable as they have a plastic coating to make them waterproof.
"As the take-away coffee culture has grown in this country so has the amount of waste being generated, most of which ends up in landfill. The Keep Cup initiative is the first step in encouraging consumers to move away from disposable items. We are asking Mayo consumers to support this campaign by choosing to reuse and to bring a reusable cup when getting a take-away drink."
Alan Mee, chairperson of Castlebar Tidy Towns, noted that disposable paper cups form a large part of the litter that he and other volunteers pick up each week, and he hopes the Keep Cup initiative will lead to a reduction in this form of waste.
Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District, attended the launch and welcomed and supported the campaign and in particular the partnership with Castlebar Tidy Towns. He complimented the great efforts made by the Tidy Towns committee in enhancing the town of Castlebar.
Keep Cups are available at outlets throughout the town, including the Linenhall cafe, Casey’s Londis, Maxol Station Road, Mulroy’s Topaz, De Burcas Butchers, The Galway Roast, the Mall Café (Mayo County Council) and the GMIT canteen.
All proceeds from the sale of the Keep Cups are going to fund Castlebar Tidy Towns projects aimed at improving the town.