Supermarket Waitrose has revealed that it is removing all its takeaway disposable coffee cups from its shops by autumn 2018, in the hope of saving more than 52 million cups per year.
Members of the supermarket’s loyalty scheme, myWaitrose, will still be able to have the option to enjoy a free tea or coffee, but will be asked in the next few weeks to bring in their own reusable cup to use rather than being offered a disposable coffee cup at the checkout.
The retailer has said that it will initially remove disposable cups in nine of its stores from the 30th April to get a better understanding of how to manage the transition to suit customer’s needs before implementing it across all stores.
This move follows the supermarket’s pledge to not sell any own label food in black plastic beyond 2019, as well as making all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025.
Waitrose head of sustainability and responsible sourcing Tor Harris said: “We realise this is a major change, but we believe removing all takeaway disposable cups is the right thing to do for our business and are confident the majority of customers will support the environmental benefits. It underlines our commitment to plastic and packaging reduction and our aim is to deliver this as quickly as possible.”
From this announcement, myWaitrose members will no longer be allowed to get a free hot drink in its 180 in-store cafes, in order to avoid customers without reusable cup putting pressure on hospitality areas.
Instead, members who purchase a hot drink in a café will be offered a choice of food options to enjoy for free or with a discount.