The 'Use your Mug!' campaign will feature a giant green coffee cup that will move through the city , Source: City of Galway

Galway introduces a borrow system of reusable mugs in the city’s cafes

Galway introduces a borrow system of reusable mugs in the city’s cafes

In Ireland, 560,000 coffee cups end up in landfills or incineration centres every day and the city is trying to take steps to reduce waste

Last week, the city of Galway launched a campaign against disposable cups. The initiative, bluntly called ‘Use your Mug!’, promises to drastically reduce the number of cups going to landfills by introducing reusable mugs in cafes. There are already ten cafes that have opted to take part in the initiative, with the city providing around 1,400 reusable cups.

According to a statement by the city, Ireland disposes of 200 million coffee cups every year, with around 560,000 going to landfills or incineration facilities every day. This startling figure highlights the environmental damage that this seemingly benign article causes.

Coffee to go, cup for rent

Customers will have to pay 1 euro to ‘borrow’ a cup from one of the ten participating cafes. After that, they can get a refund when returning the cup or just swap it at another location, when they purchase their next coffee.

At the same time, many locations in the city have stated that they will offer a 50 cents discount to people who bring their own cups over the next few weeks. The decision is partially motivated by a recent survey by the County Council, that found that four out of five residents have a reusable cup, but just one out of five use it regularly.

According to the Council, these measures will help to greatly reduce waste throughout the city. Moreover, the local authority's Environmental Awareness Officer, Tiarnan McCusker, explained that this move toward a circular sustainable practice could have an inspirational and pioneering role for Ireland, persuading more cities to take on the issue.

The campaign will also feature Muggins, a giant green cup that will move through various locations around the city. Muggins is supposed to entice locals and visitors to take a selfie with the #useyourmug hashtag and bring the campaign to social media.



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