Gatwick Airport introduces ‘world’s first’ reusable cup trial

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Hubbub and Starbucks have joined forced to help Gatwick Airport launch the ‘world’s first ever’ cup reuse trial to help tackle single-use plastic pollution. 

The trial called #CupCupandAway is the latest campaign between Hubbub and Starbucks and is funded by the 5p charge that Starbucks has voluntarily added to the cost of disposable cups across all of its stores in Britain.  

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This month-long trial will provide an innovative approach to help customers reduce disposable cup use throughout the airport’s south terminal.  

Hubbub co-founder and chief executive Trewin Restorick will be speaking at The Recycling Event on 2 July at the Ricoh Arena. He will be discussing how councils can maximise recycling rates and quality of material collected. Info: https://www.therecyclingevent.com/

Starbucks customers will be given the option to borrow a free reusable cup for their drink instead of a paper cup, which they can then drop off at one of five ‘Cup Check-in’ points in the airport before they board their fight. 

The ‘Cup Check-in’ points will be at the airside Starbucks store with four more spread across the terminal, so travellers won’t need to go out of their way to return the cup before they board.  

Once collected, these cups will be washed and returned to the store to begin the journey through the airport again.  

The option will be promoted by the Starbucks store team and urged through messaging at the airport and on social media.  

By putting 2,000 reusable Starbucks cups in circulation throughout the south terminal could have the potential to significantly reduce the amount of paper cups thrown away, said Hubbub. 

The trial is a major development for Gatwick as it moves to highlight reuse rather than disposal.  

Most people do not take reusable cups to airports and consequently, Gatwick currently dispose 7 million paper cups each year, of which 5.3 million are recycled.  

The ambition behind the trial is to help create a new culture of reuse on-the-go and examine how customers respond to dropping their cups back off to be washed and used again. 

Results will provide a unique insight into the challenges of changing behaviour at a busy international airport and will aim to discover whether peoples’ concern about plastic waste can be translated into action if made easier. It will also provide knowledge on how to introduce a reusable trial in not only other airports but other environments.  

Hubbub and Starbucks will openly share the results from the trial as part of the continuing aim to encourage greater use of reusable cups.  

In the coming months, the partnership will announce further campaigns around the UK built from pioneering cultural research that is being undertaken. 

Starbucks is working with other firms to design a new type of mass-market cup that is environmentally preferable to the one currently used.  

Hubbub is using the funding provided by the 5p charge in Starbucks disposable cups to test new ways to promote recycling on the high street and has launched a cup fund which will help up to 15 busy locations introduce cup recycling facilities later this year.  

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