In recent years, the name Waitrose has become synonymous with the phrase ‘free coffee’ (or tea, depending on your preference).
The supermarket’s popular scheme, which allows shoppers with myWaitrose cards to get a complimentary hot beverage when they make a purchase, has been a huge success since its launch in 2013.
However, as consumers and brands become increasingly aware of the impact that their daily caffeine habit can have on the environment, they’ve decided to make a significant change: removing all disposable takeaway cups from their shops.
‘Here at Waitrose, we believe in doing everything we can to protect our environment, which includes reducing the amount of plastic we use,’ the chain explained in a statement.
‘You can still enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee when you shop with us; remember to bring your own reusable cup and your myWaitrose card with you.’
The rollout of the new system will begin in stores in Banbury, Billericay, Ipswich, Newmarket, Norwich, Sudbury, Wymondham, and Upminster, as well as Little Waitrose Fitzroy Street, from 30th April, and will be complete by the autumn. Waitrose estimate that removing takeaway cups from their stores will save more than 52 million cups every single year – which equates to 221 tonnes of plastic, and over 665 tonnes of paper.
The move has won the shop a significant amount of praise already, with one follower on Facebook declaring: ‘Great idea, I’ve been doing this for about three months now and if I forget my cup I don’t allow myself a coffee.’
‘Good news,’ another agreed. ‘I keep my keep my Waitrose ‘keep cup’ in my car (it does get washed!) so I grab it, pop it in my reusable shopping bag when I come into store and am reminded it’s there when I pack my shopping. This little method works for me!’