Waitrose to axe disposable coffee cups this year

Waitrose has pledged to remove takeaway disposable coffee cups from its shops by this autumn.

The retailer is to initially remove disposable cups from nine branches from 30 April before axing them in all stores in a phased programme by the autumn. The initial nine stores are: Banbury, Billericay, Ipswich, Newmarket, Norwich, Sudbury, Wymondham, Upminster and the Little Waitrose in Fitzroy Street.

Waitrose’s move comes as use of disposable coffee cups is under scrutiny, with many businesses introducing discounts in a bid to encourage consumers to reuse cups. Earlier this year, the government was urged to introduce a 25p ‘latte levy’ on disposable coffee cups, although this seems to have been temporarily abandoned.

“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,” said Waitrose sustainability and responsible sourcing head Tor Harris.

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

Members of the supermarket’s loyalty scheme, myWaitrose, will still be able to get free tea or coffee from their shop’s self-serve machine, but will be asked to bring reusable cup.

Waitrose recently pledged to not sell any own-label food in black plastic beyond 2019 and committed to make all own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable, or home compostable by 2025. 

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