SuperValu and Centra stores will replace all non-recyclable single-use Frank and Honest coffee brand cups with a new compostable cup and lid starting from September this year.
Cup Print and Down2Earth Materials will supply the compostable cups and create 20 new jobs in Ennis and Cork.
SuperValu said that the decision to switch to compostable cups has the potential to divert millions of coffee cups from landfill. Consumers will dispose of the new cups in domestic brown bins.
Making Positive Choices Easier
Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu and Centra, said that the grocery and convenience brands have an important role in helping to make more environmentally friendly packaging available to customers.
When asked about introducing compostable products in store over promoting reusable products like shopping bags and travel mugs, which has been seen in the past, Kelleher highlighted what he believes to be a hierarchy of environmental friendliness.
Speaking at the launch with Checkout, Kelleher said, “Obviously reusing a cup or a bag, which [Irish people] are quite good at, is at the higher end of the trend, but I think what’s important is giving choice and making positive choices easier as you go through the options.
“We could make a statement about reusable cups and bags and if it happens it will impact roughly 4% or 5% of what’s sold, whereas this will now cover 100% of what's sold. If there is 5% of cups and bags that are reusable, that’s great! That’s 5% at the best end. The other 95% that we sell is at this good end, and that’s the type of positive step we should make.”
These new cups are the most recent step in a flurry of introductions from SuperValu to eliminate single-use plastic.
SuperValu recently announced the introduction of compostable fruit and vegetable bags in its stores. In addition, as part of its TidyTowns campaign, it revealed that Ireland’s top retailer aims to make Westport the first town in Ireland to eliminate single-use straws.
However, the compostable bags, unlike the new cups, will remain exclusive to SuperValue. While working under the Musgrave banner, Kelleher added that “the need isn’t the same”.
He said, “If you think about the shopping mission there is a lot less fruit and veg [in Centra] - it’s singular use products like an apple. You wouldn’t want to encourage extra packaging at that environment, whereas if you’re buying a bag of veg you’ll need to carry it in something.
“Our strategy is to be practical and to get most effective use rather than PR statements that don’t really matter. Putting those decisions in the right places are the best thing to do.”
Commenting on the launch of Frank and Honest’s new compostable cups, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Dennis Naughten TD said, “I would like to commend SuperValu and Centra for making this important commitment.
“The decision to introduce compostable cups is a significant move that will lead to millions of single-use non-recyclable cups being diverted from landfill annually. Today’s announcement is a significant step that sports my policy priorities in the waste are which includes my desire to work with industry to ensure single-use plastics are eliminated.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.