Small business strives for big changes

Smaller businesses in the Liberties are striving for change when it comes to waste management. 

With the ongoing climate crisis, Gordon Hickey, owner of Container Coffee talked to the Liberty about what he is doing to make a change for the better when it comes to running his business. 

“As a small business I think it’s easier to control waste,” Gordon said. 

Container Coffee provides customers with all compostable packaging, from cups to cutlery, even operating business from a recycled shipping container. 

“There’s a little bit of a misconception, people think that because its compostable you can throw it on the ground and it will decompose, but that’s not the way it is,” he said.

“I was very conscious of our waste,” Gordon Hickey from Container Coffee. Photo by Eibhin Kavanagh.

While providing compost bins in store, Gordon discussed the wider issue outside of this and the lack of waste facilities provided by the council. 

“Once the compostable stuff leaves our place it can go into the black bin, there should be more done about this,” he said.

As more smaller businesses provide environmentally friendly packaging, the lack of facilities available for people being able to dispose of them correctly is something that the city lacks. 

“I think [larger coffee franchises] are the ones that should be leading the way. Starbucks, Costa, Nero, Insomnia, none of them use compostable materials. They’re the companies that can afford to use compostable materials and none of them do. There should be pressure put onto them to do so,” Gordon said.

 “If they were the ones leading the way, Ireland would be a much cleaner and better place. But it’s only the smaller businesses that are the ones that actually care.” 

“The government should be putting pressure on the bigger companies should be leading by example not the smaller businesses who can’t afford it.”

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