11 Aug 2022

Kilkenny's Conscious Cup campaign tackles climate change one sip at a time

Kilkenny's Conscious Cup campaign tackles climate change one sip at a time

Tony Joyce (Lions Club), Lesley Cleere (Market Cross Shopping Centre Manager), Mayor Andrew McGuinness and Pat Boyd (Chairperson KKB) PICTURE Vicky Comerford

Re-useable cups are being brought back into fashion in the Marble City with the help of the Conscious Cup campaign and its local supporters. 

A group gathered with the Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness at Market Cross Shopping Centre to share their thoughts and explain what advances each were making in order to bring re-useable cups back into vogue.

Mayor of Kilkenny, Andrew McGuinness, commended everyone on their efforts to promote the Conscious Cup campaign, “it’s great to see the range of premises that are already registered on the Conscious Cup Map from big multinationals to the smaller local shops like the Little Green Grocer on Parliament Street who also sells a range of different type of reusable cups.  As Christmas approaches, I’d encourage everyone to consider purchasing a reusable cup locally for a friend and let’s give this initiative a helping hand.”

Lesley Cleere, the General Manager of the shopping centre was front and centre in bringing back the re-useable cup concept into establishments in the Market Cross Shopping Centre. “On hearing about the Conscious Cup Campaign information session last September hosted by Kilkenny County Council, I enquired with the outlets here if they could come on board with the initiative and I was delighted to hear that the Insomnia group were already participating and the Kilkenny Café and House of Pretzels jumped on board straight away. I am delighted to champion this initiative as if we provide the option and make reusing more attractive for our shoppers, we hope that more and more reusable cups will be presented, decreasing the number of single use disposable cups used by each coffee shop in the centre” commented Lesley.

The conscious cup information webinar was attended by representatives of the Kilkenny Lions Club.  A sub group of members subsequently assembled to approach key hospitality contacts in the City to sign them up to the Conscious Cup Campaign.  “We would love to be the driving force of the Conscious Cup Campaign in the City, our Members have built up a terrific relationship with the hospitality sector over the years and we hope to use our influence to encourage lots of local businesses to sign up to the Conscious Cup campaign.  A simple action like bringing a re-usable cup for a take away coffee, is a simple climate action that promotes sustainability and encompasses many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which is the foundation stone of the Kilkenny Lions Club Green Charter” commented Tony Joyce of Kilkenny Lions Club.

Pat Boyd of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful was also present.  As the City’s Tidy Towns Group, they naturally have a vested interested in the campaign. Pat explained that the aim of the Conscious Cup Campaign works two-fold for Kilkenny City.  “Firstly, as highlighted by COP 26, all individuals need to take individual action to avert the climate crisis. This campaign presents a simple first step on how you can be more sustainable in day to day life.  Secondly, our City is known for its litter free reputation and any initiative that decreases the number of disposable cups dropping into our litter bins would be fantastic.  They are very bulky and can fill litter bins very quickly.  Using a disposable cup for one drink is a waste of resources.  I would love to see more reusable cups being used in Kilkenny.  The latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) saw Kilkenny City retaining its perennial status as Cleaner than European Norms and this high scoring is attributed to establishments like Market Cross Shopping Centre as it received glowing remarks on how well presented it was on the day of adjudication.  Keep Kilkenny Beautiful would like to see more environmental initiatives being promoted so Kilkenny can develop a greener image”.

The Conscious Cup campaign is being supported locally by Kilkenny County Council under its waste prevention programme.  More information on how to get involved in the campaign can be found on 


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