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Coronavirus: Starbucks bans re-usable cups in UK stores in attempt to prevent spread

Customers will have no choice but to accept their drink in disposable containers

Louise Hall
Thursday 05 March 2020 18:39 GMT
Customers will still receive a 10 cent discount for bringing their own re-usable cup.
Customers will still receive a 10 cent discount for bringing their own re-usable cup.

Starbucks customers have been banned from using personal re-usable cups in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A spokesperson told The Independent: "Out an abundance of caution, we are pausing the use of personal cups or tumblers in our stores across the UK."

All drinks purchased at the high street coffee chain will be served in disposable cups instead.

Branches will also suspend the use of “for here” mugs and cups for customers staying in-store.

The same precaution has been rolled out across the US and Canada.

Starbucks Executive Vice President and President of US and Canada operated businesses Rossann Williams announced the decision in an open letter to shareholders.

In the letter, Mr Williams wrote: “First and foremost, the health and well-being of our partners and customers remains top of mind and our highest priority, and we will continue to act thoughtfully and courageously despite the disruption and uncertainty Covid-19 brings to our daily lives.

“As part of communities worldwide, we are navigating this situation with nimbleness, learning and adapting as new information is made available.”

However, the letter stated that customers will still receive a 10 cents discount (25p) for bringing their own cup.

The release also stated that the company is restricting all business-related air travel, both domestic and international until the end of the month.

The chain introduced a discount for customers choosing to bring in reusable cups in a bid to reduce waste from their single-use disposable cups.

The company did not provide a projected end date for the ‘pause’ in the use of reusable cups in the letter to shareholders but said they were optimistic this will be a temporary situation.

The UK currently has 116 confirmed cases of coronavirus and the first death in a UK hospital was confirmed on Thursday.

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