Starbucks is testing a reusable cup program that will make it a little cheaper for caffeine hounds to get their fill while cutting down on the amount of trash and recycling in airports.
As part of its UK #cupcupandaway program, Starbucks' locations in London's Gatwick Airport will give customers the option to borrow a reusable cup with their order. Before boarding a flight, they can then drop of the empty cup in one of five "Cup Check-In" points throughout the South terminal; the cups will be washed and sterilized and reused at the same airport.
While there are some drawbacks, like having to finish your coffee before your flight, choosing this option will save travelers a few cents. Those who do indicate they want a disposable paper cup will be charged a 5 pence (about 6 cents) paper cup fee. That fee is already in place at Starbucks locations across the U.K.
It may not seem like a lot of money on the individual level, but the change adds up across all the customers in the U.K., and the tax actually goes back into finding more solutions. The money raised through the initiative is given to Hubbub, an environmental nonprofit working with Starbucks to develop greener initiatives and increase the use of reusable cups.
The month-long trial is currently underway with a goal of saving 7,000 disposable cups from winding up in the trash or even recycling bin. For those wondering how feasible that is, it comes out to about 250 cups a day. In a statement on Starbucks' website, here's what CEO and Co-Founder of Hubbub Trewin Restorick said of the project:
We know that people care about waste, but it’s often hard to “do the right thing” when traveling. We want to find out whether people will get on board with reusing cups, if we make it easy and convenient. What we learn here will provide valuable insight into how to deploy a reusable trial in not only other airports, but many other environments.”
It’s a big day @Gatwick_Airport today. We’re working with @hubbubUK to trial a new way to help cut paper cup use – borrow a free reusable cup from us, enjoy your drink and drop the cup off at a cup check-in point #cupcupandaway pic.twitter.com/ByDkhd3Ce7- Kevin Johnson (@Kevin_Johnson) June 10, 2019
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