From next year, customers who bring a reusable cup for their drinks purchase will receive a 50p discount, which Pret says will further help discourage people throwing away disposable cups every time they buy a drink.
The company had considered charging customers for using paper cups, according to chief executive Clive Schlee, but in the end decided the move would go “against its instincts”.
Pret also plans to explore offering more china cups in its sit-down stores and launching its own reusable cup next year.
The company made the decision to increase the discount after 96% of 5,000 respondents to an Instagram Stories poll voted ‘yes’ to the 50p idea.
Writing in his blog, Schlee said: “A great many customers recommended we sell a branded reusable cup as well as launching the new discount. Lots suggested we turn the discount on its head and charge for cups instead. The economic theory of loss aversion was mentioned – this says people respond to loss or fear of a penalty much more than they do to a reward or discount.”
Other suggestions to the company included setting up a loyalty scheme tied to reusable cups and even implanting chips into the cups themselves that could measure usage and automatically apply a discount.
The new discount will take effect from the first week of next year.
Around 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK.