My cup, and yours too…
Now you can have your steaming cup of coffee without feeling guilty about wasting all those disposable mugs. Coffee chain Starbucks with environmental charity Hubbub started a trial in June at UK’s Gatwick International Airport where passengers were offered to borrow and return refillable cups in a bid to help cut waste and tackle “throwaway” culture.
Customers buying hot takeaway drinks from Starbucks could borrow a free reusable cup instead of using a paper cup, which they can then drop off at a designated point before boarding their flight.
The use of reusable cups in all coffee chains has increased in the UK – thanks to incentives such as discounts – but evidence suggests consumers tend not to bring the cups with them when they’re going on a holiday.
The aim of this trial was to put 2,000 reusable Starbucks cups in circulation throughout Gatwick’s South Terminal, which could drastically reduce the number of paper cups being used each day. If only 250 customers opted for a reusable cup each day, for example, more than 7,000 paper cups could be saved in one month.
An estimated 2.5bn disposable coffee cups are used in the UK each year, a large proportion ending up in landfills, according to newspaper The Guardian. At Gatwick, more than 5.3m of the 7m paper cups used each year are already being recycled but Starbucks and Hubbub have identified the potential to increase reusable cup options as well to limit the number of cups used in travel hubs where on-the-go packaging is prevalent.
Starbucks became the first coffee chain to charge 5 pence for each disposable cup in July last year in order to cut waste.
“Kopi Luwak” is the most expensive coffee in the world. It comes from Indonesia and is made from beans digested from the Asian Palm Civet. In other words, it comes from cat poop. It sells for €350 and up per kilo!