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Starbucks: 5p cup charge rolled out

Starbucks will introduce a 5p paper cup charge across all 950 UK stores from 26 July following a successful pilot in London.

The coffee shop chain said a recent three-month trial in the capital had resulted in a 126% uplift in the use of reusable cups in participating stores, measured by the number of customers redeeming the reusable 25p cup discount.

The percentage of customers bringing in their own cup or tumbler peaked during the morning when 8% of all hot drinks were served in reusable cups compared with an overall average of 5.8%, according to a report produced for Starbucks by environmental charity Hubbub.

Starbucks now intends to add 5p on to the cost of any drink purchased in a paper cup in an effort to further encourage customers to bring in their own reusable alternative.

The funds raised from the 5p cup charge will go towards supporting recycling and sustainability efforts, with a focus on reducing plastic pollution and encouraging behaviour change across the UK.

“We saw encouraging results from the first three months of this trial with Hubbub, and what stood out to us was the positive response we had from our partners (employees) and customers who continue to push us to innovate and find ways to reduce waste,” said Martin Brok, president, Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Starbucks has also announced plans to eliminate single-use plastic straws globally by 2020 by making a new Starbucks strawless lid a standard on all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages. The new lid has already launched in 150 stores across Europe, Middle East and Africa and will reach all stores through a phased rollout.

Frappuccino blended beverages will in future be made from alternative-materials, including paper or PLA compostable plastic, which will also be offered to customers who prefer or need a straw.