Coffee shops that reward customers with reusable cups advised to refuse dirty ones

Coffee chains in Ireland that accept reusable coffee cups in exchange for perks for its customers have been advised to clarify what cups they accept, and to refuse dirty cups due to the possible food health and safety implications.

Currently, Ireland is working towards reducing emissions and reaching sustainability targets before 2020 in order to avoid an annual €75 million fine from the EU - writes thejournal.ie.

Politicians have also been exploring various options to encourage the public to recycle; a 10c payment per plastic bottle recycled , to mention one.

Environmental scientist and broadcaster Dr Tara Shine said last week that if large coffee chains started offering 20c discounts to customers who use reusable cups, it would pave the way for smaller coffee shops to do the same.

And if customers began using reusable cups each time they bought a coffee, instead of buying and binning plastic ones, it would be another step towards sustainability.

“We learned a lot from the plastic bag tax,” Dr Shrine said.

“At the time, people questioned if it would work or if it would have an impact. It worked. Now, we all carry a reusable shopping bag with us or keep them in the boot of our cars. Small economic penalties work.”

What’s on offer

Already, Ireland’s main coffee chains are offering their customers incentives to bring in their own cups – Caffé Nero, Insomnia and Starbucks are among them.

A spokesperson for Caffé Nero said: ”We offer a double stamp on our loyalty cards for those customers who bring their reusable cup into store.”

Insomnia said it encourages customers to bring any reusable cup into its stores to save on disposable paper cups.

“With our Insomnia Treats programme, we offer 10 extra beans (points) to customers using any reusable cup. This equates to a 10c discount.”

A Starbucks spokesperson said: “We agree with Dr Shine’s recommendation to incentivise customers to carry their own cup or tumbler, and we have a longstanding 30c discount for all customers who help to save waste, by bringing their own reusable cups or tumblers.”

But though there seems to be universal support for the idea, the practical application can be a bit messy.

Karl Purdy is the owner and managing director of the small coffee chain Coffeeangel, and he says he’s been “beavering away” on implementing a similar promotional offer to the one that Dr Shrine suggested.

He’s aiming to bring in a policy this October, but before they do, Purdy says he’s been going through “the tedious technical stuff”.

We’ve been researching this globally, and there are a lot of people who want to get behind it, but we have to go through the tedious technical stuff and do it right.

Initially, he was concerned about the responsibility around the cup that customers bring in – if a customer falls ill after drinking coffee from their own reusable cup, who’s to blame?

So what are the rules?

In general, food businesses preparing and supplying food, to eat in or take away, are subject to the food hygiene regulations.

All utensils, crockery and cutlery, provided by the food business, that comes into contact with food must be cleaned and where necessary sanitised at regular intervals to prevent the possible contamination of food.

But there’s a slight exception in the case of the reusable cup scenario. According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), “afood business that intends to introduce re-usable coffee/hot drink cupswould not be responsiblefor the cups themselves as this would be an issue for each customer”.

But:

The food business would need to consider any hygiene risks to accepting reusable cups that are not in a hygienic condition from their customers, as this could affect the overall hygiene status within the business.

“Therefore, the risk involved with this practice would need to be assessed and considered as part of the food business’s food safety management system.”

So businesses might refuse to refill your reusable cup if it’s not clean enough to accept. The FSAI recommend outlining clearly what is clean and what is dirty in order to avoid unnecessary confusion between customers and coffee shops:

Food businesses may need to consider introducing a policy within their own business to consider what re-usable cups that they would accept and also to use this policy to ensure that customers are made aware that only cups that are clean and suitable condition will be accepted.

“Staff would need to ensure adequate hand washing where they are accepting cups from customers that may introduce contamination to the food business,” the FSAI said.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

thejournal.ie
Coffeeshops customers
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
7 views in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Anotorious Estonian hitman who travelled to Ireland to carry out a murder for the Kinahan Gang has been caged for six years. Imre Arakas, who was under garda surveillance, flew into Ireland on a murder mission to take out James “Mago” Gately. The Special Criminal Court was told that Arakas bought a wig in Dublin city and used an encrypted Blackberry phone to receive information about the movements and location of Mr Gately in Northern Ireland. The 60-year-...
Society
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he was "very satisfied" with the EU's position on the Irish backstop at last night's summit meeting. He said the European Union stands by the Withdrawal Agreement that was negotiated. EU leaders rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's call for legally binding assurances on the Irish backstop and ruled out any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Speaking to reporters on day two of the summit in Brussels, Mr Varadkar sa...
Society
Gardai are appealing for witnesses after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in a car in Dublin. The incident happened around Ballsbridge in the early hours of Sunday morning with investigators on the hunt for a man in his '20s or 30s' with short dark hair, a short beard, and glasses. A source told Dublin Live that one theory being explored is that the victim may have been in a taxi at the time. The source explained: "This woman was enjoying a night o...
Society
Gardai have been gathering CCTV evidence at a hotel where an alleged rape involving a well-known sports star took place. Forensic experts and detectives visited the property in South Co Dublin on Tuesday night to hunt for clues. Initially it was believed the incident took place at a south inner-city hotel but after further inquiries it was determined it happened closer to the Dundrum area. A source said: “Detectives and scenes of crime gardai arrived at th...
Society
The plans for the SDCC and Cluid housing social apartments were approved at Monday's full meeting of the council. On Monday, 81 social housing apartments for the elderly on a site beside Tallaght Stadium were approved by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) - writes dublinlive.ie This was despite a campaign calling on the council to save the land which houses a council depot at Watergate Sean Walsh Park. Local groups such as Tallaght Community Council and Ta...
Society
Two people have been arrested following a stabbing incident in Dublin city centre. The incident happened on Essex Quay at around 4.40pm. A man aged in his late 20s was treated at the scene and taken to St James's Hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the incident. A man and woman, both aged in their 20s, were arrested at the scene and are being detained at Pearse Street Garda Station. Gardaí sealed off part of the south quays for several ho...
Society
A kitchen went up in flames yesterday after some Christmas decorations were left on top of a microvwave. The Dublin Fire Brigade had to be called to quell the flames after tinsel caught fire having been left over a mircowave. Firefighters have warned others to be more careful with their decorating saying the tinsel was placed over the microwave's vent causing it to go up once the machine was turned on. They said: "Yesterday, Firefighters attended a kitchen...
Society
A Dublin mother is extremely concerned for the welfare of her 15-year-old son after he never came home from the shop yesterday. Aleksejs Snitko went to the Tesco shop in Balbriggan yesterday, Saturday December 9 at around 4.30pm. His mother Iveta told Dublin Live that when her son left the home, he was wearing light grey basketball shoes, tight sport trousers and a warm navy jacket with a hoodie. He was also carrying a black and blue Puma school bag. The t...
Society
A man and woman were arrested following a stabbing incident that left Dublin city centre on lockdown on Sunday evening. The pair were taken to Pearse st station after another man in his early 20s was hospitalised with 'non-fatal injuries'. It is believed a fight spilled out onto the road with one witness telling Dublin Live that she thought the man was going to be "throw him into the river". She said: "They stopped the traffic while they were fighting that...