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The return of reuse

10 June, 2021

Here’s to the return of a pre-pandemic sustainability hero: the reusable cup. Before the pandemic, we were on the reuse journey, with Starbucks seeing a 150% increase in sales of drinks in reusable cups. They had introduced their 5p surcharge for single use cups, offered a 25p discount for those coming in with their own reusable cups and consumers completely adapted to this new reality. But then came Covid-19, and all reusable bets were off.  

Now, Starbucks is striking back. The coffee chain, which was the first to bring back the use of reusables in shops from August 2020 in Europe, announced a new ‘Cup-Share‘ scheme that it plans to roll-out across all of its EMEA stores by 2025. 

The scheme is designed to overcome the barriers associated with reuse, such as forgetting your cup, and will work like a deposit return scheme. You pay for the cup, drink your drink, return the cup and get a refund. Simple, but effective.  

We were happy to say goodbye to some things during the pandemic. We won’t miss personal space infringement, rigid working hours or squeezing onto the tube rather than riding bikes. But it’s good to see that some things are making a comeback….

By Marie Guérinet

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