Starbucks charging 5p for paper cups

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Today Starbucks is rolling out its pioneering 5p paper cup charge across all 950 stores in Britain, following a successful trial in 35 London stores.

All stores, including Doncaster's, will add 5p onto the cost of any drink purchased in a paper cup in a bid to reduce waste and encourage customers to bring in a reusable cup.

Customers using reusable cups will continue to receive a longstanding 25p discount off any Starbucks drink.

The national roll-out comes after positive results from a London trial, which saw a 126% increase in the use of reusable cups, measured by the number of customers claiming the reusable cup discount. The three-month trial was evaluated by environmental charity and behavioural change experts Hubbub and resulted in an increase in customers bringing their own cup or tumbler to trial stores from 2.2% before the trial to 5.8% during the trial.

The results indicate that a nationwide 5p charge with supporting in-store communications and staff training could have a positive impact on reducing paper cup use. Starbucks is continuing to roll out paper cup recycling in all stores nationwide and will continue to serve all drink in-store customers with ceramic cups. As part of its pledge to find alternatives to single-use paper cups, earlier this year Starbucks committed $10m to develop a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, through the NextGen Cup Challenge.

In further efforts to reduce plastic waste, Starbucks has announced it will eliminate single-use plastic straws globally by 2020. A new Starbucks strawless lid will become the standard lid for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages, and is available now in 150 European stores including stores in the UK. Starbucks is also testing straws made from alternative-materials, including paper or PLA compostable plastic, for Frappuccino blended beverages or for customers who prefer or need a straw.