This Week - Starbucks has announced a new charge...
If you have seen any news about Starbucks recently you will probably know that they are said to be introducing an extra 5p charge for using their disposable cups. This news comes after the government addressed the amount of one use plastic that is going to waste in the UK.
From this Starbucks is hoping it will encourage more people to bring their own reusable cup, the same sort of situation that is occurring in the supermarkets with the 5p charge on one use plastic bags. Other coffee companies have tried similar ideas... Pret introduced a price cut if you brought your own cup encouraging regulars to think twice before buying their morning caffeine kick.
Personally, I think this idea from Pret is a much better one when being compared with Starbucks.
Firstly, there will always be a need for one use disposable cups as most people don't carry their own cup around with them all day. The 5p tariff will discourage the 'one use' cup user from visiting Starbucks as for a similar experience you could go to Pret, Costa or even Tim Hortons and then save yourself those extra few coins.
This change of mannerisms and habits needs to be encouraged. Pret who are offering money off your coffee will seem like a great offer to many. Even for those irregular users, the chance to save some money may not be passed up on. Starbucks idea will certainly encourage the daily users to save their 5p every time they visit but it doesn't encourage the irregular customers (which makes up most of its audience) to change their mannerisms. Unlike Pret, Starbucks isn't allowing customers to make much of a saving. 5p might be enough to continue their usual grind without even thinking.
To conclude, all companies have to start making changes to the amount of plastic they use. The supermarket industry is one in which we have seen a change in mannerisms driven by the charge for each bag. For the coffee shop industry we will have to wait and see, in one way I welcome the change from Starbucks trying to encourage multi-use cups but in others, I'm uncertain of this 5p charge and its significance. One thing is for certain though, the change has begun.
- Tom - Blogger at Discount Coffee