Yes - we CAN use 'Keep Cups' safely during Covid 19 and this Dublin café is doing it

By Megan Cassidy

October 10, 2020 at 10:24am

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Worrying about takeaway coffee cups in a global pandemic may seem like misdirected energy.

But now that we know this is a long-term situation, these are the issues we need to turn our attention to urgently so as not to undo all the progress we had made prior to Covid 19.

When it comes to the planet-protecting social contract, takeaway coffee cups had become one of  the biggest 'taboo' items to be seen with, but now they're back with a bang and everyone is looking the other way.

One Dublin café is holding firm, and has made it a priority to reintroduce reusable cups - and yes, it can be done safely.

Bread 41 on Pearse St has always had a zero-waste ethos at its core, and true to form, owner Eoin Cluskey is paving the way in this new world.

He told us:

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'We've made it a priority to get the keep cups back in action.

'If it wasn't for Covid our plan was to be completely free of takeaway cups by now.'

So, how does it work? Eoin explained:

'The customer brings their clean cup and places it on a board, we carry the board over to the bar where we put in the shot and milk, and bring it back to the customer to put the lid on'.

Eoin is laser focused when it comes to protecting the planet and waste management at Bread 41.

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'We did so much work behind the scenes before the pandemic, as our goal is to be a 95% waste-free bakery.

'But Covid has increased waste exponentially.

'A quick drive through a suburban village and you might see 30/40 black sacks of waste outside cafes and restaurants. We're accumulating years worth of waste since Covid began.'

But Eoin isn't blaming the small businesses struggling to survive:

'It's not the restaurants' or cafe's fault. There isn't really anywhere to get the proper guidance on it. We have to do our own research. We have no one to call.'

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Eoin was quick to point out this isn't a Dublin-specific problem. It's a worldwide issue, and thankfully, a conversation that is gathering speed.

Almost 130 scientists, health experts and academics have signed this statement asserting the safety of resusables when proper hygiene is in place.

So what can you do today? Support businesses like Bread 41 who are making the planet a priority, and start the conversation with your favourite cafe's and retailers.

Because the climate crisis hasn't gone anywhere, and we want to have a planet to come back to when this is all over.

Read next: 26 Dublin brunch spots with outdoor rain cover

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