This week we’ve been working with Boston Tea Party to announce that from June 1st it will be banning disposable coffee cups from all 21 cafes.
Boston Tea Party (BTP), the independently owned coffee chain stands to lose over one million pounds in takeaway coffee sales when it bans all single use coffee cups on 1st June this year. With 2 sites in Bath, takeaway hot drinks are 5.2% of Boston Tea Party’s total turnover of £19.8m.
BTP, which has 21 cafes across the South West and the Midlands, is asking customers to make the move to reusable cups. They can bring their own reusable cups, take advantage of a cup loan scheme or buy a cup in store when disposable cups are banned in all its cafes in just over a month. BTP will be selling their reusable cups at cost. For every takeaway hot drink purchased, the 10p cost of a takeaway cup will be donated to local community projects around each BTP café.
Sam Roberts, owner and MD of BTP says, “Lots of coffee chains are making pledges about how they plan to tackle cup waste in the future. But theirs is a future which is too far away. We need to stop right now. I’d stop tomorrow but I think it’s only fair to give our loyal customers and fantastic team a month to get used to the idea.”
Only 1 in 400 (0.25%) of the estimated 2.5 billion plastic coated coffee cups used in the UK each year are recycled. 4%, approximately 500,000, are littered every day. The rest (95.75%) go into landfill. Many compostable alternatives also end up in landfill as there aren’t enough accessible facilities in the UK to compost them. The team at BTP believes that the only sustainable option is to reduce and reuse rather than recycle.
“This ground-breaking initiative is a significant risk to the business. In July 2016, BTP was one of the first coffee chains to offer a 25p discount for customers bringing their own cups. But this has seen just a 2.8% take up – not enough to make an environmental difference. In asking all customers to use a reusable cup every time, Roberts and his team are taking a bold stance.” He explains,
“We want to demonstrate to other operators that to make a difference, big change is needed. We will make this work and we’ll share details of how we’ve done it with anyone who wants our help to do the same. We dream of a future where our children marvel at the fact that pre-2018 we would regularly use a cup once and throw it away. The discarded cup could then take centuries to decompose. When you consider it in those terms, it really is senseless.”
Yesterday it was all hands on deck with the team working together to sell in the story to national and regional press. So far this morning we have seen coverage of the story appear in the following publications:
The times newspaper and the times online. – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boston-tea-party-will-charge-for-coffee-cups-bnf9sk598
BBC News – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43879019
Materials Recycling World – https://www.mrw.co.uk/latest/coffee-chain-bans-single-use-cups/10030395.article
Cost Sector Catering – http://costsectorcatering.co.uk/uk-coffee-industry-reduce-plastic-waste
It also been on local TV and radio –
ITV Westcountry TV – On the morning news
BBC radio Devon – It was live at 8:10am.
Free radio in West Midlands – between 7-10am
Heart Radio Devon.