Conscious Cup Campaign

Communities and schools

Our campaign started with a group of individuals who met through the Zero Waste Ireland Facebook page. We currently use 22,000 disposable cups every hour in Ireland and we were concerned because these were not Recyclable. The amount of waste and environmental impact was of great concern. We created a committee with the goal of eliminating all single use coffee cups.

It is proven that a levy and a reward system can quickly change consumer behaviour but without a government levy in place we work on encouraging Cafes to reward consumers who carry a reusable cup with a discount/incentive to encourage consumers to reuse. There are currently almost 2,000 Cafes geotagged and with your help the goal is to get to 3,000 this year!

Make a Personal Commitment

When starting any community project, the first step always starts with you! Will you commit to not using a disposable cup anymore? Maybe you've already done this and now you want to spread the word to everyone? Not only are you helping the environment and reducing the amount of waste we produce but you can also receive discounts/incentives from participating Cafes.

There are lots of options when it comes to sourcing more environmentally friendly ways to drink your coffee. Reusable cups can be purchased in Cafes, General Stores and online, they can even be made of bamboo, stainless steel and other materials.

List out the Cafes

List the Cafes in your area, depending on the size of your town or village, you might want to split the Cafes between different members of your team or get started on one street / in one area of the town.

Make a note of those already on our map or other cafes who offer a discount already but are not on the map. Knowing these will persuade other Cafes to join. Consider starting with the ones you know as they will be easier.

Approach the Cafes

It is best to ask for the Manager as they are usually the decision maker. Introduce yourself and tell them that you are local. Tell them about the campaign and what we are trying to achieve. By having a Conscious Cup Campaign sticker in their window, it's also very likely that more people will recognise them as a Conscious Café.

Participating Cafes are asked to:

  • Always offer ceramic cups to customers who sit in.
  • Offer a discount/incentive to a customer with any reusable cup.
  • Display the discount/incentive on their price board or signage to encourage reuse.
  • Train all employees so they know that you have a reusable cup policy and that they know the discount/incentive so that everyone is in the loop.
  • Keep a count of the number of drinks they serve in reusable cups, they can advertise this by saying how many disposable cups they have saved.

When a Café participates we:

  • Send a pack to the Café which includes a poster and window sticker
  • We geotag the Café on our map so that customers can identify participating Cafés.
  • We promote the Café on our social media to highlight they are a Conscious Cafe

Anyone carrying a reusable cup should always ensure that it is clean when handing to a Barista. Some Cafes may find extremely tall reusable cups difficult to fit in the coffee machine but the most popular sized cup is a 12 ounce which is a medium in the majority of Cafes and this fits all machines.

Once they confirm discount/incentive you can give them a window sticker and poster. You can tell them that we will map them shortly.

Update the Map

It's important to make sure they appear on the map so that people know they are participating and they can call in with their reusable cup. To add a Cafe to the map, just email us on with four things:

  • Cafe name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • The discount/incentive they have committed to offering

We will then add the Café to the expanding map along with promoting the Café online.

Promote the Good Work you’ve done

You could take photos of each Café you sign up and use them to promote Reuse through social media and local newspapers/radio. Send us a group photo of your volunteers or Cafes in action and we will share on our social media.

This helps people understand that every time they use their reusable cup instead of a disposable one they are making a difference.