Starbucks find 156% increase in reusable cup use since 5p charge trial

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Coffee store Starbucks has revealed a 156.6% increase in reusable cup usage in the first six weeks of a three-month trial, which examines the impact of a 5p paper cup charge. 

The trial took place in 35 stores across London and was measured by the number of customers redeeming the 25p reusable cup discount. 

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Starbucks’ own research found in February that 48% of people in its survey said they would carry a reusable cup. Since launching the 5p cup charge, the percentage of consumers bringing in their own cup has increased from 2.2% to 5.9%. 

The money collected from the 5p charge is being donated to environmental charity Hubbub, and when the trial period is over, Starbucks has said that it will share a report which will evaluate the impact of this three-month trial on customer behaviour and the use of reusable cups.  

Starbucks chief operating officer Jason Dunlop said: “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.  

“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.”  

The coffee chain also announced a trial in 54 stores in London and Manchester to assess alternative solutions for plastic straws. 

This trial will start in May and will test paper and biodegradable plastic straws.  

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