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'Don't be Dick' - Coffee Cup Crisis - Campaign launched to highlight serious problem caused by disposable coffee cups in Dublin

'Don't be Dick' - Coffee Cup Crisis - Campaign launched to highlight serious problem caused by disposable coffee cups in Dublin

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Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council leading the campaign

21 June: Three local authorities in Dublin have launched a major awareness campaign today to tackle the growing environmental issue of disposable coffee cups in the Dublin region.

Most disposable cups are made from paper with a plastic lining to make them waterproof in order to hold hot drinks. But this makes them unsuitable for recycling in Ireland. With Irish people using in excess of 200 million disposable cups every year this is having a seriously negative impact on our environment.

To further compound the issue, disposable coffee cups have become a major source of on-street litter across Dublin.

The aim of the new campaign, which runs over three weeks from 18th June, is to raise awareness among coffee drinkers in the Dublin region that disposable cups are having a detrimental impact on the environment.

The new campaign, ‘Don’t be Dick’, highlights how careless actions can have serious consequences on the environment, and asks consumers to think about their coffee drinking habits in a new way. The campaign will run across radio, Dublin Bus, cinema, digital and social media over the coming weeks.

Fionnghuala Ryan, Executive Environmental Scientific Officer, Waste Management Services at Dublin City Council, said: “The issue of single use plastics is very topical at present; research suggests that we use well in excess of 200 million disposable cups in Ireland every year, which is a shocking number for country of our size. These cups cannot be recycled in Ireland and can only be disposed of to landfill or incineration. A recent trial of segregated waste bins in Dublin City centre found that coffee cups contaminated all waste streams, so this presents a major litter problem for all local authorities.”

Speaking about the campaign, Edwina Dunford, Environmental Education Officer, Fingal County Council, said: “The campaign does not encourage compostable cups, as composting is a very specific process which does not occur in landfill, where some of them end up as not all cafes have compost bins.  Also, if they end up in a plastics recycling bin, they will contaminate the recycling process.”

“It just makes sense- using your reusable cup allows you to have your coffee, your way, every day, and at a better price! It also helps minimise waste being created, which in turns helps to make our Dublin a cleaner and nicer place for everyone”, commented Sorcha O’Brien, Environmental Awareness Officer, Environment, Water and Climate Change, South Dublin County Council.

This campaign is funded by Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dublin City Council has created a suite of visual assets and a video to support the campaign. To view the video, see


For more information, please contact:

Niall Noonan


T: 086 464 6172


South Dublin County Council Communications Unit          01-4149285    

South Dublin County is one of four local authority areas in the Dublin region.

South Dublin County Council provides and funds a broad range of services including housing, roads, walking and cycling routes, parks and playgrounds, libraries, sports facilities, litter control, arts centres, enterprise units, fire services, community infrastructure and financial supports. It also serves as a platform for local democracy with 40 councillors spread across six electoral areas.

Bounded by the River Liffey to the North and the Dublin Mountains to the South, the County lies 16 kilometres south west of Dublin city centre and has an administrative footprint of 223sq. kilometres. The County has nine main villages Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown, Rathfarnham, Tallaght, Templeogue, Saggart, Rathcoole and Newcastle and is bounded by adjoining counties of Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin City, Fingal and Dun Laoghaire.


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