As an organisation, Esquires take very seriously the harm that plastic is doing to both our sea and land and the devastating effect it is having on wildlife in general. An estimated 2.5bn throwaway coffee cups are used in the UK every year by consumers buying coffee from chains and cafés, creating approximately 25,000 tonnes of waste. In Ireland, while the figure is much less, it still presents a major problem for our environment. Earlier this year, Esquires introduced into their stores a scheme whereby customers who purchased our re-usable thermo mugs would receive a discount equivalent to the cost of a take-out cup each time they came into our stores for a refill. We did this with the intention of trying to get more of our customers to see the benefit of cutting down on using one-off cups that end up more often than not in landfill and polluting our environment. I am glad to say the scheme has been very successful with a significant take-up by our customers.
The problem with take-out cups is that while they are paper on the outside, they have a plastic lining on the inside to protect against leaks. Noble and all as this may seem, it is this that is causing the major problem for our environment. As previously mentioned, we are a community-based coffee house with local franchisees living and working in the community. Unlike some of the bigger chains, we have a genuine commitment to the good of the community we serve that provides us with its custom.
In a further effort to address the issue of take-out cups, we have taken the decision, as a body, to introduce fully compostable hot beverage take-out cups in early 2018 as soon as we run down stocks of existing cups. While this may be more expensive, our franchisees as a group of people have decided that this is the right thing to do and to lead the way on this most important issue. So, while the bigger chains are in talks about looking at this, Esquires Coffee has taken the decision to do it!
Earlier this year, we also took the decision to exclusively stock One Water in our stores. One Water is a not-for-profit organisation that supports water-based projects in third world countries, bringing fresh, clean water and sanitary conditions to communities and schools across Africa
Esquires Coffee is an international franchise owned by Cooks Global Foods in New Zealand. While we are part of an international brand, we are also very much locally focused with “Love Local” being an important element of our philosophy. We are a community-based coffee house and our philosophy is to only serve Fairtrade and 100% Organic coffee to our customer, thus helping farmers and their families to a better life through paying a premium for the coffee that they grow.
On an ongoing basis, Esquires Coffee will continue to review all aspects of our operations in an effort to take the lead and become a more sustainable company.