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Pret a Manger mulls doubling coffee discount if you bring your own mug

Pret A Manger’s chief executive wants to get its waste levels downs (REUTERS/Neil Hall)

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.

MORE: Charging punters for their takeaway coffee cup could cut waste by 300 million a year

But by doubling the discount, Schlee said the cost a basic filter coffee would be just 49p.

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.

Bring your own coffee mug and you could soon get 50p off (Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images)

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.”

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.”

MORE: Is Britain’s love affair with tea cooling?

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.

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.

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.