Nationwide coffee chain Pret a Manger is considering doubling its discount for customers who use their own mugs.
In a tweet, boss Clive Schlee said he was mulling over whether giving punters up to 50p off a coffee would encourage more to shun takeaway cups.
Those who bring in their own cups and mugs for their hot drinks already get 25p off – but the chain is keen to try to cut down on the number of disposable cups it uses.
But by doubling the discount, Schlee said the cost a basic filter coffee would be just 49p.
How do we encourage more customers to bring reusable coffee cups to @Pret? We’re thinking of increasing the discount for bringing your own cup from 25p to 50p. Our organic filter coffee would cost just 49p! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
— Clive Schlee (@Cliveschlee) November 27, 2017
Some 2.5 billion cardboard coffee cups are used each year in Britain – and the vast majority are tossed away in bins on the way to and from work, or at train stations, for example.
Schlee wrote: “How do we encourage more customers to bring reusable coffee cups to @Pret? We’re thinking of increasing the discount for bringing your own cup from 25p to 50p. Our organic filter coffee would cost just 49p! I’d love to hear your thoughts.”
How about instead of a discount. Drop all your prices by 25p and then charge 25p extra for a disposable cup. Change the way people think like the gov did with carrier bags
— Vegan Graze (@vegan_graze) November 27, 2017
His tweet generated hundreds of responses. Stella Chaplin tweeted: “Turn it around. Don’t call it a discount. Advertise coffee as 49p (or whatever). Then charge £1 for a paper cup. Customers don’t want to pay for something they used to get for free (think carrier bags). It will take a while but the culture will change.”
Another tweeter suggested Pret could develop a collapsible cup, while others said introducing a 25p surcharge for a disposable cup – much like supermarkets and plastic bags – would help tackle wastage.
The problem for me is the inconvenience and the weight of carrying a reusable coffee cup around all day, can you launch your own light weight one?
— Gabriella Fearns (@BellaPerpetua) November 27, 2017
Pret has been trialling reusable plastic water bottles and “water filler stations” at its Manchester stores to assess whether the initiative should be rolled out across its 330-plus stores in the UK.
Brilliant! I think majority of customers believe cups fully recyclable. The industry needs to take steps to inform where cups end up.
— Alex Coppard (@ALCoppard) November 27, 2017
Research published earlier this year by Cardiff University showed that charging the nation’s coffee drinkers for reusable cups could cut the waste mountain by as many as 300 million a year.
The UK consumes some 55 million cups of coffee a day – and the takeaway coffee market is an £8bn a year industry.