Waitrose phases out disposable coffee cups

Waitrose has pledged to phase out all disposable coffee cups from its stores by autumn 2018 in a move to cut plastic waste. The British supermarket chain estimates saving over 52 million cups a year.

The British supermarket chain Waitrose is to remove all disposable coffee cups from its stores nationwide by the autumn of this year.

Waitrose estimates that the move will save more than 52 million cups a year. Around 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away annually in the UK and are rarely recycled because of their plastic lining.

The news follows the supermarket’s pledge to not sell any own label food in black plastic beyond 2019 and to make all own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025.

Tor Harris, Head of Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing at Waitrose, commented in a statement: “We realise this is a major change, but we believe removing all takeaway disposable cups is the right thing to do for our business and are confident the majority of customers will support the environmental benefits.

“It underlines our commitment to plastic and packaging reduction and our aim is to deliver this as quickly as possible.”

The supermarket will initially remove disposable cups from nine branches at the end of April.

Members of its loyalty scheme, myWaitrose, will continue to have the option to enjoy a free tea or coffee from their shop’s self-service machine, though they will be asked to bring their own reusable cup.

Earlier this year, Starbucks started charging 5p for disposable coffee cups at selected stores across London, while British high-end department store Selfridges recently announced its pledge to ban all disposable plastic bottles.

Photo credit: Mark Hillary/ CC BY 2.0

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