Starbucks will trial a 5p disposable cup charge in 25 of its London stores from February.
The announcement comes just a week after MPs called for a 25p “latte levy” to be added to the price of drinks sold in paper cups in a bid to improve recycling rates.
Starbucks has had a reusable cup incentive in place since 1998, with customers given 25p off all drinks, but currently only 1.8% take advantage of the offer.
The coffee giant said a previous scheme, which saw it increase its discount to 50p, had little impact leading to the decision to launch the three-month charge trial.
A spokesperson for the global company said: “We recognise that there is growing concern about the number of single-use paper cups being used and that our customers are interested in ways that we can help them reduce, reuse and recycle.
“To that end we will be exploring the impact that a cup charge may have in changing behaviour in addition to the measures we, and the whole industry, are taking on cup recycling.
“In order to better understand how this could work we will trial and promote a 5p cup charge in 20 – 25 central London stores. We will investigate the impact of a 5p charge on a paper cup, coupled with prominent marketing of reusable cups, on customer behaviour.”
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