We’ve seen plenty of larger retailers getting behind the fight to get of single-use plastic bags, especially after the 5p per bag charge came into effect. Those larger businesses can make a big difference when they stop using single-use plastic bags, but we shouldn’t forget about how important it is for smaller ones to follow suit.
Luckily enough, we’re starting to see the downfall of single-use plastic bags trickle down to smaller retailers, including one of Ireland’s most popular coffee shops.
We’re talking about Butlers Chocolate Café. Besides getting a good cup of coffee, one of the best things about visiting one of their Dublin locations has always been getting a complimentary chocolate with each hot drink. That free chocolate used to come in a small plastic bag, but the small chain is set to change to a paper bag in an effort to cut down on their use of single-use plastics.
As one spokeswoman said: “We have been working for a while now on sourcing an alternative to this bag as we endeavour to reduce single-use plastic in our stores. Consequently, we are trialling paper bags from next week in a city centre location with a view to rolling these out to all stores.
Butlers Chocolate Café has already committed to eco-friendly practices by buying Fairtrade coffee and using chocolate from sustainable sourced cocoa. The move from plastic to paper for their complimentary chocolates was actually prompted by the visit of several school children to one of their Dublin locations. After getting their free snacks in plastic bags, those school children launched a petition to find an alternative.
While the changes made by a small network of coffee stores is never going to make headlines like changes made by a huge supermarket chain, it’s encouraging to see changes from plastic to paper taking place in businesses large and small.