Waitrose Takes UK's Single-Use Cup Problem Into Its Own Hands

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By: Casha Doemland

One of the joys of early morning grocery shopping is having the store mostly to yourself, but if you’re at UK grocery chain Waitrose, that also means a free cup of coffee.

Well, Waitrose decided to switch things up by announcing on Twitter that they're only serving free cups of joe to shoppers who bring their own reusable cups. The plan is set to go into action as early as Autumn.

While some of their customers have voiced their concern on Twitter about how they’ll need to remember to bring a reusable cup, the change Waitrose is making is much-need and well-intentioned.

Also, it’s free coffee. You can’t bring your own cup for some sweet, sweet java? Really?

Did you know 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups thrown away each year in the UK alone? How about that fact that only 1 in 400 of those cups actually make it into a recycling plant, while the rest end up in a landfill or clogging up our oceans?

By removing single-use cups from its stores, Waitrose claims it will eliminate 52 million cups from the vicious cycle of waste every year. In the wake of the UK’s latte levy being voted down, it’s another pragmatic, but necessary step in reducing single-cup usage.

So don’t forget to pick up a reusable coffee cup for your next trip to Waitrose, that way you can take advantage of the free coffee and a relaxed hassle-free shopping adventure. It will all be worth it, after all Waitrose isn’t the only company making moves. Chains such as Starbucks, Costa, Paul, Pret and more are offering discounts to patrons who supply a reusable mug.


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Casha Doemland

LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.