Photo: Diane Cusack
Thousands of students starting their journey into academia will receive their very own reusable travel mug, following a collaboration between Cork City Council and UCC and the Southern Region Waste Management Office (SRWMO).
Up to 4,500 students will be given the bamboo mug in their first year welcome pack. Furthermore, all retailers on UCC campus will offer a drinks discount to every student user.
Cork City Council was approached by the UCC Student’s Union in Autumn 2017, as students were growing concerned at the impact that disposable items were having on the environment and UCC’s Library had introduced a ban on disposable cups.
To help the students work towards their sustainable goals, Cork City Council acted as a facilitator and set up a collaboration with Southern Region Waste Management Office.
SRWMO worked with the students to test the benefits that a €10,000 grant for reuseable cups would have on the student body and help work towards their sustainable goals.
The pilot scheme ran in 2017 and involved 1,200 students testing three proposed travel cups; a thermal mug made from plastic, a bamboo travel mug and a grippy travel mug made from plastic. After the students completed the survey, it was acknowledged that the bamboo travel mug was the most popular choice.
All UCC Freshers are to be issued with their reusable cup in the week beginning August 27.
Cork City Council Chief Scientist, Mary Walsh, said: “Cork City Council is encouraged to see that University College Cork is playing its part in the fight against single-use disposable coffee cups. We are proud to have been involved in this initiative and it builds on the action that we have taken against single-use plastics in our own local authority offices. We commend the Students Union for their initiative and commitment to the project.”
Prevention Officer at Southern Region Waste Management Office, Pauline McDonagh, said: “Two-hundred million beverage cups are disposed of annually in Ireland. That equates to 22,000 every hour. Coffee cups currently can’t be recycled as part of the mixed recycling waste stream as they would need to be collected separately and presented clean, loose and dry.The obvious response to this problem is to consume bought beverages in a reusable cup. If this is in a café setting – why not sit and sip using the coffee shops in-house ceramic cups. If on the go, invest in a reusable cup that you bring with you wherever you go.”
Cork City Council wishes to thank UCC, SRWMO and UCC Students Union, who are working diligently to make Cork City a greener place.