For the last 6 weeks, 35 London-based Starbucks has been charging 5p extra for their single-use paper cups and offering customers who bring their own mugs a 25p discount. 6 weeks is a small sample period, but the results so far are encouraging.
The use of reusable mugs has surged by 156% among the stores involved in the experiment. Almost 10% of Starbucks’ morning customers are said to be bringing their own reusable tumblers.
“We are encouraged by the initial results of our trial that show that by charging 5p and increasing communication on this issue, we can help to reduce paper cup use, said Starbucks COO Jason Dunlop. “Now those same customers can also help us to test innovative plastic straw alternatives, to further reduce our impact on the environment.
“We look forward to sharing the full report on this cup charge trial, in collaboration with Hubbub, with the wider industry as we work together to find sustainable solutions.”
Reducing the number of single-use cups used in the stores compliments their recent announcement of a $10 million initiative to develop a ‘truly sustainable cup’ to be used in every single Starbucks location around the world.
Offering a discount for bringing your own mug isn’t the only initiative that Starbucks is trying in the London area. Beginning in May, 54 London-based Starbucks will begin testing different alternatives to plastic straws, like paper and bio-plastic straws to gauge consumer reaction to the more sustainable straw options.
Starbucks’ 5p fee isn’t being pocketed by the company, but is instead being donated to an environmental charity called Hubbub, a charity that creates environmental campaigns that inspire people to make healthier, greener lifestyle choices.