Caffeine Hit by 5p Charge


As many people now know, most single-use cups have a plastic liner to waterproof them that renders the entire vessel pretty much un-recyclable. To reduce the use of such cups, Starbucks is running a trial in 25 London stores to add a 5p charge to customers using them. Given 98.2% of customers use such cups, this is basically everyone.

Interestingly, Starbucks has previously tried lowering the price for customers bringing in their own cups by 10p, 25p and 50p over the years but none has managed to deter single-use cups. It will be an illuminating psychological experiment to see if upping the price for use rather than lowering the price for non-use will have a greater effect. It’s worked for 5p plastic bags so why not coffee cups?

Still, we can’t ignore the fact that carrying around a coffee cup is going to be a pain in the Louis Vuitton. You’ll need to remember it in the first place, it’s bulky and who wants cold coffee sloshing around their handbag? We’re looking out for something small, clean and collapsible, and we’ll keep you posted here when we find it.

In the same way drink-driving has become verboten, perhaps we will soon see the day when walking down the street with a flat white in a paper cup will similarly render culprits pariahs.


As promised, here are a couple of reusable coffee cup options that are available on the High Street or online.

Silicone cup from Big Daddy

Stojo cup from Robert Dyas

Pokito cup from Pokito