Starbucks is the first coffee shop to charge customers a 5p levy for paper cups across all its 950 stores in Britain. The move is reportedly a bid to reduce single-use paper and plastic waste.
From 26 July, customers who bring in a reusable cup for their coffee or other hot drink will be given the standard 25p discount. Those that ask for a paper cup will not get the discount and will be charged the 5p “latte levy”.
The move comes after a successful three-month trial across selected Starbucks stores, which saw a 126% uplift in the use of reusable cups.
Martin Brok, president of Starbucks Europe, said the move was an “exciting step”. He hoped the charge would “remind customers to rethink their use of single-use plastic as it has with plastic bags”.
On 9 July, Starbucks joined the swathe of businesses pledging to cut back on plastic by announcing it will phase out plastic straws by 2020.
The coffee giant said it would eliminate plastic drinking straws, and introduce lids designed not to need straws. It will do this within two years, to combat the stress they put on marine life and the environment as a whole.
There has been increasing pressure on companies to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use because of concerns over plastic pollution in the oceans. Items such as straws end up harming, and often killing, wildlife such as turtles, birds and fish.
McDonald’s confirmed in June that it would stop using plastic straws across all of its UK and Ireland restaurants. It will replace them with paper alternatives from September.
The fast food chain uses around 1.8 million plastic straws every day in Britain. All 1,361 restaurants will begin the roll-out of paper alternatives from September, with the process to be completed next year, it said.