Sustainability at 3fe: Week 1

03 January 2019
Sustainability at 3fe: Week 1

As part of our ongoing sustainability programme at 3fe we will be posting an initiative we've undertaken, big or small, every Thursday for the entirety of 2019. Over the years we've done a number of things to improve the sustainability of our business but have probably been slow to publicise a lot of it.

Posting these improvements every week gives us an opportunity to showcase these developments and also puts pressure on us to ensure they keep coming. First up is probably the most contentious of issues in coffee shops now, the treatment of take away cups.

As of January 1st, if you bring a reusable cup to any of our locations we'll discount your coffee by 15c, which will also offset the recent VAT hike. We believe that the best, most workable, solution for sustainability is for customers to bring reusable cups with them whenever possible and we're happy to incentivise this across the board.

We have also employed the use of recyclable cups in our cafe but thus far are still frustrated by the infrastructure in place to recycle them. The cups are capable of being recycled as they have a clay-based resin in the lining which can be broken down, but at present there is conflicting information at play about whether these cups are being accepted or not.

The problem is that they are too easily confused with non-recylabe cups so the recycling facilities aren't sorting them, they're just refusing them all. Having spoken to our own waste management company Keywaste, we are hopeful that the infrastructure across the board will improve with recyclable cups.

With all of our packaging we have found that its easy to get something that ticks a box and appears sustainable but finding something that will actually work in practice is quite another thing.

We had looked initially at compostable cups but we feel they aren't a workable solution, given that most people that buy a coffee don't have immediate access to a composting bin and even if they do, the process is far from simple after that.


We've also recently taken stock of some 3fe bamboo cups which are on sale at all of our locations at €10 each. It was important to us that we found an accessible price point so that we can get a good start and increase usability straight away. They are easy to clean, keep temp well and look great too which helps.

We feel there is a long way to go with regard to take away cups in this country so expect a number of updates as the year goes on. Happy New Year to all of our customers and we're looking forward to updating you every week on some more improvements in sustainability at 3fe.