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Campaign launches to remind consumers to remember their reusable coffee cups

By Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Correspondent

More than two thirds of consumers now own a reusable coffee cup – but just one in six remembers to use it every time they buy a hot drink, a poll suggests.

Britons buy an average of four takeaway hot drinks each week. However, while 69% have their own reusable cup, many either leave them at home or feel uncomfortable asking shop staff to wash and refill them as the day goes on, environmental charity Hubbub found.

The charity has joined up with Starbucks and other coffee chains to encourage consumers to remember their cups with the aim of cutting the number of paper cups used each year by 150 million.

A new radio ad created by Fun Lovin’ Criminals front man and BBC Radio DJ Huey Morgan, made with funds collected from the Starbucks 5p charge on drinks bought in paper cups, launches on Wednesday in Manchester.

Currently, three billion paper cups are used every year in the UK, and it is estimated that less than 5% of all hot drinks are sold to people bringing a reusable cup.

Efforts to increase this figure have seen Starbucks shift sales in reusable cups to 5%, up from 2.2% two years ago.

Hubbub said it planned to work with major retailers and independent coffee shops to raise this to 10% of all sales, which would see a reduction of at least 150 million paper cups a year.

Morgan said: “Helping rid the planet of unnecessary plastic and single use coffee cups is something I feel really strongly about. My kids are always talking about it, so I was very inspired to get involved.”

Hubbub director Gavin Ellis said: “We’re really pleased to have Huey’s support to share the message that a reusable cup is the best environmental option for take-out teas and coffees, and it saves money too.

“This collaboration is a first of its kind for an environmental charity, and Huey has come up with a real ear worm which will help make sure that people remember to grab their reusable cup on the way out of the house.

“This is the first of a number of new approaches we’ll be testing to see if we can shift the needle on reusable cup uptake through positive and playful campaigns.”

Censuswide surveyed 3,003 UK adults in June and July.