Boston Tea Party becomes first coffee chain to ban use of disposable cups

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

Boston Tea Party becomes first coffee chain to ban use of disposable cups
Independent coffee and restaurant chain Boston Tea Party will ban the sale of hot drinks in disposable cups from the beginning of June.

It is believed to be the first coffee chain in the UK to do so.

The business, which has 21 branches across England, will only serve hot drinks in reusable cups. Customers will be required to either bring their own cup, buy one instore (the chain is working in partnership with Ecoffee and will be selling its cups at a subsidised rate), or get a ‘loan cup’, which can be returned to any Boston Tea Party café.

“We’ll make it as easy as possible for you to carry on getting your usual takeaway coffee,” says managing director Sam Roberts, “but the onus is on all of us to change our habits and make a difference for our planet.”

The company had initially been trialling a scheme in which customers bringing their own cup were offered a 25p discount. The take up of the offer, however, was only around 3%, which is why the new measures are being introduced.

The company has already replaced plastic straws with paper ones that customers have to ask for, as well as switching from plastic water bottles to glass ones from Bristolian brand Frank Water.

Big coffee brands including Starbucks and Costa have started to recycle coffee cups, but the impact of this in reality would be relatively small given they only recycle cups thrown away in-store. Pret a Manger, Costa and Caffè Nero all offer between a 20p and 50p discount to customers who bring their own reusable cups.

The move follows a call from MPs to place a 25p tax on throwaway cups, and an outright ban by 2023 if they are not all being recycled.

Hospitality trade body Association of Licensed Multiple Retailer (ALMR) disputed the proposition, saying that the ‘latte levy’ would pass on unfair costs to food businesses.

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