Understanding the Irish Coffee Cup Levy

Coffee is an essential part of daily life for the Irish people and the demand for coffee has never been higher. Unfortunately, this increasing demand for coffee has also resulted in a surge of coffee cup waste in Ireland. To address this issue, the Irish government are introducing a coffee cup levy in Ireland, which has been making headlines. But what are its implications? In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about the coffee cup levy in Dublin.

What is the coffee cup levy?

Firstly, what is the coffee cup levy? In essence, it is a charge of 25 cents that is applied to disposable coffee cups at cafes and restaurants in Dublin. This means that customers who buy a hot drink from a disposable cup in Dublin will pay an additional 25 cents to cover the cost of the cup, which is not recyclable due to its plastic lining. The goal of the levy is to encourage customers to switch to reusable coffee cups and reduce the amount of coffee cup waste that enters landfill sites.

How will cafes in Dublin work this levy?

Secondly, how will cafes in Dublin work this levy? When you go to a café or restaurant in Dublin and order a hot beverage to go, you will be charged an additional 25 cents if you choose a disposable cup. This extra charge will be in addition to the regular cost of your drink. If you bring your reusable coffee cup, however, you can avoid paying the 25 cents. Café owners must show that they are charging the levy and this is verified through tax records. The main aim is to encourage people to bring their reusable coffee cups with them when they go out for a coffee.

Changing behaviours in Dublin based cafes

Thirdly, what are the implications of the coffee cup levy? The main benefit of the levy is that it encourages people to bring their reusable cups or to sit and drink their coffee from a mug in the café. This, in turn, reduces waste and helps in minimising the environmental footprint. Moreover, café owners who switch to providing reusable coffee cups can save on the cost of supplying disposable cups and that saving may help to cushion the impact of the levy. Additionally, the levy puts pressure on café owners to take responsibility for waste disposal and to review their waste management systems.

Another implication of the coffee cup levy is that it raises awareness about the importance of recycling and responsible waste disposal. It reminds people that their choices have consequences and it educates them on how to make better choices. These small steps can make a big difference in reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable living.


The coffee cup levy in Dublin and Ireland is a step forward in creating a greener and cleaner city. It highlights the need to reduce waste and encourages individuals to take responsibility for their choices. The levy has garnered attention both locally and nationally and has opened up conversations about reducing plastic waste in Ireland and in other parts of the world.

Regulations to introduce the coffee cup levy have been drafted and are intended to be brought into force as soon as is possible.

As we continue to live more sustainably every day, the levy is a reminder that small steps can have a big impact. So, next time you go for a coffee in Dublin, bring your reusable cup or feel proud that you are contributing to the sustainable future of our planet.







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