Gatwick to try out old coffee cups

Marco Green
June 11, 2019

From Monday passengers will be able to borrow cups from Starbucks before either returning them or leaving them at a designated drop off point, where airport staff will pick them up and take them back to the cafe. The airport wants to improve on that, and reusable cups potentially have a lower carbon footprint than paper cups.

Starbucks and the environmental charity Hubbub are trying out takeaway cups at Gatwick airport that may have been used before. Its work is funded in large part by Starbucks' latte levies. However, as we all become more eco-conscious, using a single-use plastic lid and single-use paper cup destined for the ever-growing trash heap seems wasteful.

"Transport hubs such as airports and railway stations are areas with a lot of footfall and not a very high use of reusable cups", said Trewin Restorick, chief executive officer and co-founder of Hubbub.

An estimated 7 million cups are used at Gatwick airport every year.

The Guardian reports that 2,000 reusable Starbucks cups will be put into circulation throughout the South Terminal. 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.

"By redesigning and investing in new waste collection and sorting facilities, and also in training to raise awareness about our journey toward zero waste, we have so far managed to hit a waste recycling and reuse rate of 70 per cent this year".

The use of reusable cups in all coffee chains has increased in the United Kingdom - thanks to incentives such as discounts - but anecdotal evidence suggests consumers tend not to bring the cups with them when they're going on holiday.

People drink a lot of coffee at airports.

While I'm all in favor of phasing out disposables, I do find it amusing that such a fuss is being made over a coffee shop offering a reusable cup when, in fact, they always have.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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