Coffee Shop Innovation Expo logo

26 & 27 NOV 2019

ExCeL LONDON

Boston Tea Party Become UK’s First Coffee Chain to Ban Disposable Cups

Boston Tea Party is believed to be the first independent coffee chain in the UK to ban the use of disposable cups for hot drinks. The branch will only sell hot drinks in reusable cups from the 1st June.  

If customers want a cup of their ever so popular coffee, they either have to bring in their own mug, buy one of their mugs or pay a deposit on one they can return to any branch.

Sam Roberts, owner of Boston Tea Party, said that it was completely senseless to give out 300,000 disposable cups each year. 

This number is only minor when you discover that an estimated two billion disposable coffee cups are used in the UK each year, with less than 1% of these actually being recycled! 

This plan is the chain’s second attempt to reduce waste, as before they used to offer a 25p discount on drinks if they brought in their own cup… however this plan didn’t really work! Just 2.8% of customers would bring in their own cup!

With this new scheme, customers who don’t bring a reusable cup have other options; they can either buy one in store for between £4.25 and £4.75, or customers can pay a deposit for a loan cup and return it once they have finished their coffee. 

Other UK coffee chains have also announced their plans to cut waste. Costa revealed that they have set themselves the goal to recycle as many cups as it puts into the market by 2020 - however Sam Roberts does not feel that these plans will work. 

“There are loads of coffee chains vowing to try and combat the cup waste crisis in the near future, but this future which they are referring to is simply too far away,” Said Sam.

“We at Boston Tea Party, want to show the others how it can be done, meaning we know how to make a big difference to the environment,

“We will do everything we can to make our plan work and we will share details of how we achieved our goal with anyone that wants to follow suit.”

Friends of the Earth - an environmental charity - said that it was encouraging to hear that large scale retailers were looking for new ways to reduce waste, but feel that the government could play more of an important role to help solve the waste problem. 

“We are overjoyed with the steps being taken by coffee shops to limit the amount of plastic pollution they produce,” said a spokesperson for the charity. 

“However, the UK government is in desperate need of a caffeine kick for its plastic strategy.”

The charity are forthright with their their theory that the only effective long-term solution to plastic pollution is a to eradicate all unnecessary plastics.