Starbucks to tackle plastic waste problem with 5p cup charge
The coffee chain Starbucks has launched a three month trial in 35 of its central London stores to see whether a 5p charge for single-use cups will promote behavioural change. The move comes in an attempt to see whether increased costs are more likely to see reusable cups being used by customers compared to discounts being offered.
At the moment several big high street names, including Starbucks offer discounts to customers who use reusable cups. These include Greggs (20p), Costa (25p) and Pret a Manger (50p). However, Starbucks is the first company to trial adding a levy.
Speaking about the implementation of the trial charge, Simon Redfern of Starbucks stated: “We’re hoping that this charge will remind customers to rethink their use of single-use plastic-lined cups, as it has with plastic bags”. He also noted that only 1.8% of Starbucks customers bring their own reusable cups at the moment and that the research will determine whether this new approach could help to increase this figure.
The overall aim of the scheme is to try and reduce the amount of waste plastic going to landfill in the UK. Currently a staggering 2.5 billion coffee cups are disposed of each year. Earlier this year the issue of such waste was debated in parliament, with MPs suggesting that a 25p ‘latte levy’ should be applied to disposable cups. They also called for all such drinks containers to be recyclable by 2023.
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