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UK’s Waitrose pledges to ban disposable coffee cups by autumn 2018

PKBR Staff Writer Published 11 April 2018

UK supermarket Waitrose has pledged to remove all takeaway disposable coffee cups from its stores by autumn 2018 in a bid to reduce its environmental impact.

As part of this effort, the company initially plans to remove all disposable cups from nine of its UK branches on 30 April followed by gradually phase out of the cups from all of its stores in the country.

The branches include Banbury, Billericay, Ipswich, Newmarket, Norwich, Sudbury, Wymondham, Upminster, and Fitzroy Street.

The company said it will encourage its customers who posse a myWaitrose card, a loyalty card which allows customers to take a free coffee when shopping at Waitrose stores, to bring disposable cups to receive their free drink.

Waitrose sustainability and responsible sourcing head Tor Harris said: “We realize 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.”

The UK retailer expects the move to save more than 52 million cups annually, thus reducing the supermarket’s environmental impact.

Earlier this year, Waitrose has unveiled its plan to ban black plastic packaging use for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables by 2019, in a bid to reduce the use of plastics.

Additionally, the retailer has committed to make all own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable, or home compostable by 2025. 

Commenting on Waitrose’s decision to ban black plastic, WRAP director Peter Maddox earlier said: “Waitrose’s commitment is a positive step and supports the aims of our new plastics initiative, which will see the entire plastics supply chain working holistically to create a system where plastic is valued and never becomes waste.”

Image: Waitrose intends to ban disposable coffee cups. Photo: courtesy of Waitrose.