Bernadette Moloney, (environmental awareness officer, Kilkenny County Council), Rebecca Walsh (Discovery Park) Kathy Purcell (general manager, Castlecomer Discovery Park) and Sorcha Kavanagh
The Canopy Café and Jarrow Restaurant in the Castlecomer Discovery Park are the most recent recruits to a new campaign that aims to eliminate single use in the cafe and food-to-go sector.
Nine Kilkenny businesses are now part of the Conscious Cup Campaign, which incentivises customers to bring their own reusable cup.
The Castlecomer Discovery Park is currently working with Kilkenny County Council on an environmental project which will see the park tackling different aspects of their operations and to raise awareness of what their visitors can do before they arrive on site and during their visit to help the environment.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with the council’s waste prevention programme and we are committed to take steps to improve the site’s environmental performance,” says Kathy Purcell, manager of the Discovery Park.
“We thought the obvious start was tackling some issues at our canopy café, as our bins are often full of single use cups. We signed up to the conscious cup campaign and will promote it on our social media channels to encourage those planning a trip to the park to bring along a reusable cup. The advantage of the scheme is that hot drinks served at the canopy café in a reusable cup receives a €0.20 discount. While we still tackle the issue of the single use cups on site, we’ve swapped over to compostable cups at the canopy cafe, so it’s another positive step for the environment.”
Sorcha Kavanagh, the campaigns co-ordinator who recently visited the Discovery Park, says the ultimate objective has always been to increase awareness about waste prevention and conscious consumption thereby changing consumer behaviour.
"Over the years of our campaign many supporters who made the swap to reusables often indicated that this triggered their
journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle," she says.
"Each individuals attitude towards personal responsibility can have a rippling affect to change others and that is our vision, a world where we respect and value our resources. Many cafes temporarily paused accepting reusable cups when Covid started, however a system we call Contactless Coffee is being used by cafes all across the country whereby a customer brings their own cup, holds onto their lid and the barista provides a contactless pour."
Kilkenny County Council’s environmental awareness officer Bernadette Moloney says the council is committed to assisting venues like the Discovery Park in reviewing their operations to determine how small steps can be made to enhance their environment performance.
“We are mindful that destinations like the Discovery Park are now entering their busiest season, so the greening of the Discovery Park is a long-term project allowing the Park to complete positive environmental changes fitting with their schedule and resources,” says Ms Moloney.
“It’s estimated in Ireland that we dispose over 22,000 of these non-recyclable cups every hour, I’d love to see more Kilkenny businesses signing up to the conscious cup campaign as it’s a sustainable long-term solution to the waste generated by our popular coffee culture.”
For more information on the conscious cup campaign check out www.consciouscup.ie.
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