Independent coffee chain bans disposable cups

Boston Tea Party, based predominantly in the West Country, are set to be the first coffee chain in the country to ban disposable coffee cups by June 1st.

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Boston Tea Party has cafes across the South West and the Midlands.

All of the company’s 21 cafes will replace the plastic lined single-use cups with reusable coffee cups that can be purchased or loaned directly from one of their cafes. Alternatively, customers can bring in their own reusable cup.

According to research conducted by the government, of the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups disposed of every year in the UK, just 0.25% are recycled. Around half a million are littered every day and the rest, aside from the 1 in 400 that is recycled, ends up in a landfill.

Sam Roberts, owner and Managing Director of Boston Tea Party said, “Lots of coffee chains are making pledges about how they plan to tackle cup waste in the future.  But theirs is a future which is too far away.  We need to stop right now.”

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Sam Roberts: “The discarded cup could then take centuries to decompose. When you consider it in those terms, it really is senseless.”

The company admits that the initiative does pose a significant risk. The independently owned chain stands to potentially lose over one million pounds in takeaway coffee sales if the move doesn’t prove popular with its customers. Mr Roberts believes the decision is worth the risk.

“We want to demonstrate to other operators that to make a difference, big change is needed.  We will make this work,” he said.

Boston Tea Party believes this change will save 300,000 disposable cups from being given out in their cafes every year.


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