Saturday 20 July 2024
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Starbucks trials five pence charge on disposable coffee cups in the UK

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LONDON, UK – Starbucks UK is now charging a 5-pence extra on all drinks sold in disposable cups in 35 locations across London. It’s a trial set to last three months.

The decision was made as part of the chain’s efforts to reduce waste and incentivize customers to use ceramic mugs or bring their own reusable cups.

The coffee giant has teamed up with waste charity Hubbub to assess how a 5-pence per cup charge could impact consumer behaviour when buying a takeaway hot drink.

The proceeds from the charge earmarked for use by Hubbub to run a comprehensive study into behaviour change, including research into how best to encourage consumers to adopt reusable cups.

Many coffee shops, including Starbucks, already offer a discount to people who bring in a reusable cup.

Pret is the most generous, offering 50p off, while Starbucks and Costa both offer a 25p discount.

Back in January, a group of British MPs made a recommendation that coffee chains institute a 25p “latte levy.”

Every year, the UK throws away around 2.5 billion coffee cups, only a tiny fraction of which are recycled.

Starbucks Europe’s VP of communications, Simon Redfern, said he hopes the surcharge will encourage customers to rethink their decision to use disposable cups.

Baristas will ask customers if they want their drinks in ceramic before automatically adding the extra 5p to disposables. Redfern stated in a press release, “We’ve offered a reusable cup discount for 20 years, with only 1.8% of customers currently taking up this offer, so we’re really interested… to see how this charge could help to change behaviour and help to reduce waste.”

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