Starbucks has become the first coffee chain to introduce a ‘latte levy’, which charges customers 5p for the use of a takeaway cup.
Customers will continue to receive a 25p discount for using a reusable coffee cup, but the coffee giant has gone beyond rewards to push for further change. This means eco-friendly coffee drinkers who use a reusable cup will save themselves 30p on each coffee.
The trial scheme, starting today (Monday), will run across 35 London stores, testing whether customers will reduce their use of single-use coffee cups. The proceeds generated by the charge will go to environmental charity Hubbub.
Starbucks is the first to introduce such a charge, following a government report that revealed 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away in the UK each year. In response to the report MPs proposed a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups and an outright ban if they’re not recyclable by 2023.
According to research commissioned by Starbucks, 48% of people surveyed said they would carry a reusable cup, saving money and reducing waste.
In January, fellow coffee chain Pret increased its renewable coffee cup discount from 25p to 50p.
Speaking about Starbucks’ ‘latte levy’ trial, Simon Redfern, Vice President of Communications at Starbucks Europe said: “We’re hoping that this charge will remind customers to rethink their use of single-use plastic-lined cups, as it has with plastic bags.”