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The Conscious Cup Campaign: a citizen-driven zero waste solution

Awareness Cup Campaign: Citizen-driven zero waste solution

Behind the scenes of the award-winning grassroots campaign promoting reusable cups

The European Waste Reduction Week Award is a window into a series of inspiring and innovative climate action projects involving companies, municipalities, NGOs and citizens. It is worth noting that the citizen category stands out because it highlights how everyone can play an important role in the fight against climate change-and the winning campaign clearly shows this.

The Conscious Cup project won a citizenship award for its "Anti-Black Friday Gorilla Campaign", which aims to raise awareness of disposable coffee cups. The event was held at Wolfe Tone Square in Dublin during Black Friday, a very busy shopping day to attract as many people as possible. The purpose is to let consumers understand the negative impact of disposable coffee cups on the environment from production to disposal. The event was very successful. On the same day, more than 450 reusable cups were distributed to people who filled out the information questionnaire and joined the "promise to bring your cup".

The two #EWWRAwards winners solved the disposable cup problem by encouraging coffee drinkers to choose the #reusable option! Learn more about the plans created by @CCCampaign_Irl and @eurodistrict at #WorldEnvironmentDay

-EWWR (@2EWWR) June 5, 2018

It is estimated that Ireland handles more than 200 million disposable coffee cups every year, while in the UK, 7 million disposable coffee cups are used every day, equivalent to an astonishing number of 2.5 billion a year. To make matters worse, it is generally believed that the cups you carry with you are recyclable. This is technically correct, but unfortunately, this is far from reality. Disposable coffee cups contain polyethylene, a substance that makes the cup waterproof. However, after addition, it cannot be separated again in a standard recycling plant. This means that cups on the move can only be recycled in very rare highly specialized recycling facilities, such as only two in the UK. The anti-Black Friday gorilla movement wants to emphasize all this, and the movement believes that one-on-one interaction is the best way to achieve this goal.

The Cup of Consciousness Campaign was launched in 2016 to reduce the consumption of disposable coffee cups and eventually eliminate them from people's daily lives. They cooperated with local coffee shops and international coffee chains to arrange discounts for customers who bring their own reusable cups. So far, 1,000 coffee shops have participated, and with the support of Zero Waste European member VOICE Ireland, the network has continued to grow. The highlight of the project is that in just two years, the event not only increased public awareness of disposable plastics, but also promoted the habit of carrying your own cups.

The event demonstrated that the transition to a zero-waste lifestyle is neither difficult nor expensive. We can save the planet from plastics, and at the same time get economic benefits from this action. A zero-waste future also means a complete (er) pocket.

"We can save the planet from plastics and at the same time gain financial benefits from this action. A zero-waste future also means a complete (er) pocket."

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