New twist in coffee cup saga as Starbucks offers discount

Starbucks has responded to the publicity surrounding paper coffee cups by offering a 50p discount to customers if they bring in their own cup.

Starbucks

The two-month trial starts next month and has been hailed as a victory by anti-waste campaigners led by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who said the discount was a “seismic leap”.

It’s the latest development in a story that gained momentum last week. Fearnley-Whittingstall blasted the major coffee shop chains saying that the recyclable claims on cups were misleading. Fewer than one in 400 high street coffee chain paper cups are recycled.

Simply Cups operates the UK’s only paper cup recycling service and has linked up with McDonald’s and James Cropper in a scheme to collect more cups and transform them into high quality paper.

Last week, Defra minister Rory Stewart waded into the debate saying that the recycling of paper cups was “a very good thing to look at next”. However, the government ruled out a tax on coffee cups to fund the infrastructure needed to boost recycling.

The Foodservice Packaging Association welcomed Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign as it has raised the issue and highlighted that more needs to be done to recycle paper cups. The organisation has challenged assertions made that cups are not recycled and that retailers are misleading the public. It also argues that a tax, similar to the levy on plastic bags, is not the answer.

The FPA is to meet with Stewart, along with the chair of the All Parliamentary Group for Packaging Mark Pawsley MP, to discuss the government’s intentions.

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