On-street compost bins could be installed for compostable coffee cups, says Minister

Compostable coffee cups will be only option in ‘the wider sector’ at some point – Bruton

Compost bins could be placed on streets for people to dispose of compostable coffee cups and green waste, Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton has suggested.

He said a “segregated waste” system was needed for compostable items like coffee cups and that street compost bins “will have to be looked at” as an option.

The Minister added that the “cost effectiveness” of such a system would need to be considered.

The purchasing of non-compostable coffee cups has been banned within Government departments, effective from Friday, along with all unnecessary single-use plastic.


This measure will be rolled out to the rest of the public sector in March.

As well as cutting single-use plastic, all public bodies will be required to develop “resource efficiency action plans” by the end of June, to maximise the use of energy and water, as well as preventing food waste and increasing recycling.

Compostable coffee cups will be the only option in “the wider sector” at some point in the future, the Minister said.

Announcing plans at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, Mr Bruton said the Government must "lead by example", in the hope that community and enterprise will follow suit.

He urged a “shared responsibility,” in tackling climate change and emphasised a need for “each one of us in our own homes” to evaluate individual plastic consumption.

Asked if large retailers would be expected to reduce their contribution to plastic waste, the Minister said he would be meeting with retail directors over the coming year to discuss “the extent of packaging that is being used”, as well as their own policies for minimising packaging and waste.

A cross-departmental plan is currently underway, as part of a ramped up government response to climate change.

Mr Bruton welcomed a move towards a greener model of society, saying it “fits space” for the growth of green and sustainable enterprises.

“Becoming more sustainable offers more opportunities in the long term for enterprise, for the economy, as well as society. The Government is taking a very serious step up in a series of which we can review the delivery of sustainable models of living.”

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter