As the planet faces a massive spike of single use plastic going the landfill the world continues to use large amounts of PPE, one Bristol coffee chain is encouraging cafes and customers to reduce their plastic use.
With more plastic going to landfill and large coffee chains refusing to use reusable cups, Boston Tea Party is fighting back.
Even though the coronavirus pandemic has seen the majority of big coffee chains refusing to accept reusable cups, citing customer safety as the reason, a statement signed by 119 scientists and published on June 22 disproved that reusable cups are a risk to customers.
“We’ve seen global brands take a huge step backwards on their ‘sustainability agenda’ using Covid-19 as an excuse to no longer accept reusables,” says Boston Tea Party CEO Sam Roberts.
“Even when deemed safe by science they drag their heels. Are the big boys serious about being sustainable or is this just pure purpose washing?”
Since reopening its 22 cafes following lockdown, Boston Tea Party has continued to accept reusable cups – Boston Tea Party was the first chain to ban single use coffee cups completely in 2018 and has already stopped over 350,000 cups from going to landfill.
Despite an initial loss of £250,000, the chain made a profit again in 2019. After reopening, the chain still refused to offer single use cups.
To encourage more people to enjoy a greener caffeine fix, the chain is giving away reusable cups throughout September to any customer buying a takeaway coffee.
“It’s more important than ever that we all make little changes to put the planet first,” says Polly Akielan, who works for the cafe
“We have to drive the change that’s needed, we have to put the pressure on. 2020 hasn’t exactly gone to plan, it’s time to do something positive and lead the charge for a green recovery from Covid.”
For those already using a reuseable takeaway cup, Boston Tea Party is offering a 25p discount on hot drinks until January.
“It’s easy for big chains to give away a 25p discount to the five per cent of their takeaway customer base that actually use reusables,” says Roberts. “We’re introducing a 25p discount for every single takeaway customer, because we believe it’s not a choice between planet or profit, you can choose both.”
Main photo: Martin Booth