Waitrose becomes first retailer to ban disposable coffee cups

Waitrose has announced plans to phase out all disposable coffee cups in its stores by autumn, in a bid to reduce packaging and plastic waste.

The removal of the cups will begin on 30 April at nine stores, before being rolled out at its outlets nationwide.

The retailer has said that the scheme will save more than 52 million cups a year. MyWaitrose members will still be entitled to free tea and coffee and the retailer’s self-service machines, but will need to use reusable cups.

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This move comes as the government announced it was considering implementing a ‘latte levy’, which will see a charge added to disposable coffee cups.

Tor Harris, head of sustainability and responsible sourcing at Waitrose, said: “We realise 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 first nine shops to ban disposable cups will be Banbury, Oxfordshire; Billericay, Essex; Ipswich, Suffolk; Newmarket, Suffolk; Norwich, Norfolk; Sudbury, Suffolk; Wymondham, Norfolk; Upminster, east London; and Fitzroy Street, Cambridge.

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