Waitrose - Stop Using Disposable and Non Recyclable Coffee Cups NOW!

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It is estimated that Waitrose give away 1 million cups of free tea and coffee each week.  Since the introduction of the ‘myWaitrose’ loyalty card in 2011 this 'free coffee' marketing scheme could be responsible for a trash heap the size of 364 million cups.  Whilst it has been successful for the financial outcomes of the company, it's not so great for the environment.

All of these single use plastic bonded cups, whilst appearing ‘papery’ are ‘not yet recycled’.  It is a fact that less than 0.25% of all the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups thrown in the UK each year are recycled.  It is a massive environmental problem.

For Waitrose's’ part, this marketing ploy is a needless freebie that has created millions and millions of cups in landfill or littered about our countryside (I have found plenty in the greenery around their own car parks).  That's millions of cups that are now bobbing around our marine environment, the consequences of which David Attenborough has highlighted so effectively to us in Blue Planet II.

And whilst Waitrose's environmental 'commitment' to making the majority of it's own label packaging 'widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable' by 2025 is a step in the right direction, these seven long years could be another 364 million cups...

Why is this such a problem?  Wherever these cups now are you can be sure that the plastic component is slowly giving out a future (present?) time bomb of micro-plastics and toxic chemicals that are ingested by the creatures and wildlife around us, and inevitably into our food chain.  It is impossible to ignore that these plastics are ruining our natural environment.

This is a completely avoidable problem.  It is within the power of Waitrose to stop using them as a freebie altogether. Waitrose can offer their coffees free only to those who bring a cup. Waitrose can use the budget that they currently spend on their 'free' cup on subsidised 'keep cups'.  Waitrose can switch to a plastic free compostable cup such as those that the National Trust use.  Waitrose have plenty of good solutions already at their disposal.

Please Waitrose.  Live up to the expectations that your customers have of a firm with integrity.  You are not MacDonalds.  You are company whose brand postioning means that you appear to have a conscience.  You have a client base who choose to shop with you because they believe they are choosing to pay a bit more for a more considered offering.  And I believe wholeheartedly that given accurate information we as your customers are all willing to welcome that change.   YOU Waitrose can be a LEADER in this and not a blinkered donkey placing profit over planet.  And yes we love a free coffee – but we will still shop with you when you change this promotion.  Indeed we will applaud your wisdom.

 



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