Coffee shops and hotels of Killarney have joined forces to try and eradicate single use coffee cups. Since taking this step towards becoming Ireland’s first town to become single use coffee cup free, the local businesses have seen a very positive reaction from both locals as well as domestic  and international tourists. Local customers are largely bringing their own reusable cup while visitors are utilising the collective €2 2GoCup deposit scheme. 

In a positive move for local community engagement, and as a solution to creating waste from the unused paper cups, over 50 businesses handed over their disposable coffee cups to an educational project within the local community. The unused single use coffee cups are to be used as part of a future educational piece that includes local art, biodiversity, and science projects. The Killarney Coffee Cup Project team issued a call out to all the local cafes and hotels with stock of unused paper cups, which where collected and placed in a box in the town centre. The box can hold 23,000 cups, which is the number of single use cups previously used in Killarney on a weekly basis, and it is placed in a prominent position in the town centre to increase visibility for the project. 

Killian Treacy, owner of LUNA deli + wine, and spokesperson for the Killarney Coffee Cup Project, said: “We are delighted with how the move has been received by customers. We knew that people were supportive of the decision and understood why we were doing it, but it is encouraging to see how quickly our customers have adapted. It is really positive to walk through the town and the National Park and to see the number of people with a reusable cup in their hands. Some of the strongest feedback we have received has been from the waste management workers due to the reduction of coffee cup litter on the streets as well as in the public bins in the town. We are really enthused by the differences we have seen in such a short space of time.”

The project has been supported by local partners including the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and 
Commerce, Killarney Credit Union, Kerry County Council, 2GoCup, WanderWild Festival, Kerry 
Convention Bureau, and AIB.