Buttery to introduce cup deposit-return scheme

“Co-Cup” scheme rolled out to Trinity, DCU, and Dublin City Council

The Buttery is set to replace disposable coffee cups with a deposit-return scheme from next Monday.

The scheme allows users to pay a €1 deposit on a cup which can later be returned and refunded or replaced with a new cup. Users pay an additional €1 for a lid, which they are allowed to keep.

The “Co-Cup” scheme is being rolled out for a three month trial period by Trinity, Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin City Council on April 8. Dublin City Council funded the purchase of 13,000 cups, which are to be shared between the three locations.

Cup holders can return their cup to the Buttery, Aras an Phiarsaigh, or the DCU campus to avail of a refund.

Sustainability Advisor to the Provost, Michele Hallahan, explained: “The beauty is that you won’t have to carry around an empty coffee cup with you. It will be washed and reused.”

The cups are made from recycled plastic and can safely be used for hot drinks. 120z cups are to be piloted, with a view to extending the scheme later to include 8oz and 16oz cup sizes.

Last year, 3,700 students signed a petition to Provost Patrick Prendergast, led by TCD Plastic Solutions, which demanded that single-use plastics be phased out of use in cafés and restaurants on campus.

College has since taken steps towards reducing plastic waste on campus. The Buttery and the Pavilion Bar (Pav) have moved towards plastic-free alternatives, with compostable water and coffee cups and paper straws available at the food outlets.

In September, Trinity News reported that TCD Plastics Solutions were pursuing the introduction of a deposit scheme at Trinity Ball for single-use plastics.

However, speaking to Trinity News, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Ents Officer David Flood has since outlined that it is “challenging to introduce a cup deposit scheme to the Ball as the cups are so structurally sound that people could easily injure their ankle if they stepped on the cup”.

“We could only introduce the deposit scheme if we knew people would hold onto their cup and not drop it, but that’s a totally unrealistic approach,” Flood continued. “It’s about finding a compromise so the Ball can be sustainable and safe for everyone attending.”

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.