Disposable coffee cups, should they be banned or taxed ?

Disposable coffee cups, should they be banned or taxed ?

Over the past few weeks there has been increased conversation on disposable coffee cups. Every day around the world, millions of disposable coffee cups are thrown into landfill. This is not sustainable.

The Irish government has started a bill to address this controversial issue. The final result will either be an outright ban on disposable coffee cups or a tax or levy. So when you get your coffee, you would have an added charge if you use a disposable coffee cup. I know for a fact that I could easily use about 10 of these per week. Therefore how many are being used in Ireland Every day? Now expand that… How many disposable coffee cups are being used in the world every day.

This is a similar concept to the tax on plastic bags which was introduced a few years ago. At the time we all thought it was something which would not persist. However, today it is normal practice for people to bring their own shopping bags to the shops.

It could be the case that people will now bring their own cups to the café to avoid the cup tax. The only problem is that how will people use their own cups if they have already used them that day. Cafés may have to provide a service or area for cleaning personal coffee cups.

It is a tricky issue to solve but certainly one which has an environmental impact.
Feel free to vote in the poll below or leave a comment on this issue.

What do you think? Should disposable coffee cups be banned or taxed ?


What do you think? Should disposable coffee cups be banned or taxed ?

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The most people applying sunscreen World Record Attempt – Postponed

The most people applying sunscreen World Record Attempt – Postponed

Please Note this event has been postponed - Click Here for more information

Please Note this event has been postponed until further notice

With the weather getting warmer and sunnier we all need to be aware of the risks of UV rays. There are a lot more cases of skin cancer these days. You may not know this but, skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland and indeed the most preventable. Every year there are over 10,000 new cases are diagnosed in Ireland.

With this in mind there is a very novel way to get the message of sun-protection out there…. while raising funds for cancer support. There is a very unusual event taking place in Waterford, Ireland on Saturday 1st July with this in mind. The Solas Cancer Support Centre is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for ‘The most people applying sunscreen’.

Now, I was not aware that there was even a category for this. Apparently, there was already a World Record for ‘The most people applying sunscreen’. This was set in the USA in May 2014 by the Ann’s Hope Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In that world record 1,822 participants were involved.

The weather for this Saturday looks to be very good and hopefully there will be a good turnout for this Sunscreen World Record attempt. It would also get the Solas Centre and their great work into the news and on the map.

For more details or to register to take part in this free event please go online to www.solascentre.ie . The Sunscreen World Record event is taking place in WIT Arena, Carriganore, Waterford, Ireland on Saturday 1st July 2017 and participants will need to arrive at 10am. Once registered you will receive details about the Sunscreen World Record attempt and you must bring this confirmation email with you on the day.

Only preregistered participants will be able to take part and as the Sunscreen World Record terms asks that participants must apply their own sun screen for 2 minutes we ask that children taking part be over 5 years of age.

Sunscreen World Record Attempt by the Solar Centre Waterford, Ireland
Bloggers and Influencers must Tag sponsored posts with #AD and #SP

Bloggers and Influencers must Tag sponsored posts with #AD and #SP

In an effort to stop consumers from being misled there is a new set of Guidelines for Bloggers and influencers. Online posts must now say if they are being paid to promote a service or product. These guidelines have been set out by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

The ASAI has introduced the guidelines due to the increase in online advertisements on blogs and social media websites. These may come as mentions on Snapchat or Instagram or indeed in Blog Posts. People like the Kardashians make significant money from advertising products in this way. In Ireland in recent years there has been an increase in social media influencers being paid for this sort of marketing.

Influencers and Bloggers must add disclaimers to their posts. These disclaimers should be obvious and visible for consumers to see on the content. The ASAI have said that they will ensure bloggers and influencers adhere to the new guidelines. Declaring a sponsored piece of content will be easy. A simple hashtag can be used to denote a that they are being paid to advertise a product. The suggested tags are #AD and #SP.

I personally have never been paid to advertise a product or service. I have on occasion been asked to review a book or two but that is rare. I think this new set of online guidelines will be good, as it will be easy for the followers or readers of a blog post to know if this is a sponsored post or indeed if the person is really saying something because they want to and because they think a product is actually very good.

I do worry that there maybe some difficulty in tracking and checking if someone was actually paid for a post. I cannot see how someone will be able to prove this. Also on the flip side, how can someone prove if they product they mentioned was one they actually like.

Time will tell !


Oh No – DOFUS is President

Oh No – DOFUS is President

Oh No, Donald Trump is the new President of the United States. After months of worrying that Donald Trump would get into the White House, it happened. We now have someone with no background in politics as president. Also we have the first orange president of the USA.

Overnight, some people thought that a similar situation to Brexit might occur. During Brexit voting one side was winning but next morning the other side won. At the time of this piece being prepped, the polls showed Hillary Clinton at 46.8% and Trump at 43.6%. This was a lead of 3.2%. At the same time in the voting process 8 years ago, Barrack Obama had less of a lead and still won. This time we were not as lucky.

I was hoping Hillary would get in, instead of Donald Trump. Hillary has been in the White House during the period her husband Bill was in power. She has seen the process, been there for the hard decisions and understands the role. Donald Trump, god bless him, really is unqualified for the role of President. He has no political background, is aggressive and irrational with his planned policies and will reduce the political system in the USA to a farce. As Hillary Clinton said, any man who can be irritated by a tweet should not be near the nuclear codes…. Oh S**t,

Prior to today’s election result it was assumed by stockbrokers that a Trump win would bring a 15% crash on world wide stock exchanges while a Clinton win would see a 2-3% rally. It is early days but it should be interesting to see what happens today. Stockbrokers will right now be taking as many red bulls as they can.

So from here we can rest no easier. Trump  has some tough tasks on his list when he takes office. I wouldn’t envy the task but I cannot see Donald Trump doing a good job at this.

Results of the latest #ShanesDailyPoll

Results of the latest #ShanesDailyPoll

I have being running #ShanesDailyPoll on my @mrshanemcdonald Twitter account for the past week. This is a daily poll with a different question each day and here are a selection of the results. If you want to see all the polls follow @mrshanemcdonald or click here.

#ShanesDailyPoll Results

President Trump?

Question : Who do you think will win the US Presidential Election?

I posed the question who did you think would win the US Presidential Election? Thankfully Hilary Clinton won the election on my Twitter poll. Considering Hillary Clinton said that “it is worrying that a man who can be baited by a tweet should be running for the presidency”, hopefully she will win! I feel Trump does not have the qualities a world leader should have, and even President Obama has said he is “unfit to be president”.

  • Hilary Clinton 65%
  • Donald Trump 35%

Sugar Tax

Question : Do you agree with a Sugar Tax, if the money raised goes back into healthcare ?

I was shocked at how high the results were on this one. I think it might be a good idea considering the effects sugar has on the body in relation to the production of fat. The only thing is that it will need to be very well defined and monitored, i.e. will diet drinks be taxed, considering that some artificial sweeteners have the same insulin producing results as sugar. Also where will the tax go and how will it be diverted to health care.

  • Yes 93%
  • No 7%


Question : Do you think Ireland should be 100% smoke-free / tobacco free by 2025?

There are government proposals to make Ireland a smoke free country by 2025. Many smokers feel it is a Nanny-state move. Considering how harmful smoking is to health this is a very important area for all to discuss. Also there are issues regarding littering, as many smokers flick their butts into the street once they are finished with their cigarette (I think technically they should be done for littering  for this).

  • Yes – Smoking is gross 67%
  • No, it is the smokers choice 33%

Don’t forget if you want more daily polls, search for #ShanesDailyPoll on Twitter or follow me at @mrshanemcdonald .

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Queen angered as Trump uses We are the Champions

Queen angered as Trump uses We are the Champions

Rock band Queen (my favourite band as you probably know by now) have lodged the latest protest against Donald Trump. The presidential candidate played the band’s famous 1970s anthem ‘We Are the Champions’ at the Republican National Convention.

The song was used without the consent of the band and Donald Trump took the stage with ‘We Are the Champions’ playing in the background, walking through a cloud of dry ice on Monday.

The Queen guitarist, Brian May has said that, whatever Queen’s views on Mr. Trump, it did not allow politicians to play Queen songs. The song was written Freddie Mercury and was released on 7th October 1977 on the News of the World album. It is one of the most recognisable Queen songs and is played at many sporting events.

Adam Lambert, is currently performing Queen on tour, has been much more up front with his opinions. He is quoted as saying, “If your political party spends decades treating gay people as second class citizens, then guess what: You don’t get to use Freddie Mercury’s music at your convention,” Lambert, who is also gay, expressed his opinions on Twitter.

Other musicians and artists have had their music played by Donald Trump including the Rolling Stones, REM, Neil Young and even Adele. if you want the video you can here another song just fading out at the start of the video… so Queen were not the only artists who’s music was used without permission.

What I don’t understand is why these artists don’t sue Donald Trump for usage etc. I really dislike the attitude currently being displayed by Donald Trump in this regard. Blatantly playing copyright protected music without first seeking permission.

What do you think? Should these artists be upset about the music being used. Or is it just a case that the music is getting some extra publicity. I’m not sure if it is related but Queen Greatest Hits 1 is at position 72 in the UK album charts , up 14 places from last week when it was in 86 position …. Coincidence?