Page 1

IMPACT REPORT

DISPOSABLE CUP CHARGE


FOREWORD Starbucks is a business that has always led the way on sustainability – it’s about responding to our customers and partners’ (employees) concerns and helping to reduce our impact on the environment. We strive to lead the industry – for example, we were the first to introduce a discount for customers choosing to use a reusable cup from the day we arrived in Europe over 20 years ago. Sustainability is not just something we are passionate about, it is something that is becoming increasingly important to our customers and partners (employees). That is why we approach cup recycling in two ways – firstly by innovating in our own stores and then in our materials. We are rolling out in-store cup recycling, have removed plastic straws and cutlery from our condiment bars and are about to start rolling out a new sip lid globally, which removes the need for a straw. Earlier this year we also committed $10m to develop a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, through the NextGen Cup Challenge. While changing the way we operate is important in creating a more sustainable business, we also understand that we need to support our customers in making more sustainable choices.

2

Foreword


FOREWORD That is why we took the big decision earlier this year to trial a 5p charge on single-use plastic-lined cups in 35 of our London stores, with all proceeds going to Hubbub. We were interested to see how it would impact customer behaviour, and whether we would experience a reduction in waste similar to that experienced by supermarkets after the introduction of the plastic bag charge. This report lays out the findings of that trial in detail, but I am greatly encouraged by what I have seen when visiting the trial stores and talking to our partners and customers.  I am also grateful for the role Hubbub have played in not only supporting us in running the trial but also in measuring its success and providing recommendations for where we go from here. We have already taken on board some of those recommendations, and I am delighted to announce we are now extending the 5p charge to all of our stores across Britain. We will test its impact on a larger sale, whilst continuing to work with Hubbub to understand what else we can do to help reduce waste, promote reuse and encourage recycling across our business. Martin Brok President Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa 3

Foreword


CONTENTS

Executive Summary

4

Context

The trial

Key findings and overview of trial

In the UK it is estimated that 2.5 billion disposable paper cups are sold each year, of which only around 0.25% are recycled.

For three months 35 London stores charged 5p for paper cups to evaluate whether it would encourage customers to use reusable cups.

Pg. 5

Pg. 10

Pg. 16

Results

Conclusion

Sales of hot drinks in reusable cups were closely monitored at participating and control stores to evaluate effectiveness.

Hubbub recommends that the 5p charge is rolled out across all stores and that the funds raised are used to create an Innovation Hub.

Pg. 28

Pg. 39

Contents


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report relates to a three month trial of a 5p paper cup charge in 35 Starbucks ‘test’ stores in London. Participating stores asked any customers choosing to take away their drink if they wanted a paper cup, which added 5p onto that drink purchased. Starbucks continued to offer a 25p discount to customers using their own reusable cup. 35 ‘control’ Starbucks stores in surrounding areas were also identified, they were spread across the same areas and matched to each trial store.

5


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY As well as introducing the 5p charge, test stores were provided with the following: •

In store communications one week before launch to inform customers that the trial was coming.

In store communications during the trial to promote the 5p charge.

More prominent marketing of reusable cups for sale in store.

A paper cup recycling process was introduced in stores which did not have this already to enable customers to recycle their cups.

All store partners were sent a thorough Operations Guide and were briefed by store managers. Each participating store was provided with reusable tumblers to give away to customers at launch, with another giveaway planned half way through the trial to coincide with Earth Day. The trial also received a significant amount of national media coverage in January when it was announced, in February when it launched and in April when the mid-point results were revealed.

6

The aims of the trial were:

To evaluate the extent to which adding a 5p charge on disposable cups encourages more customers to switch to reusable cups.

To test reactions to the charge from customers and employees in store (referred to as store partners).

To understand what other factors might contribute towards customers switching to reusable cups.

Summary


KEY FINDINGS

Test stores

Pre-trial trend



Control stores

The 5p charge, supported by high media profile, strong communications and store partner training, increased the proportion of hot drinks sold in reusable cups from 2.2% before the trial to 5.8% during the trial.

Use of reusable cups was already on the increase in Starbucks stores; it had risen from 1.6% in 2017 to 2.3% before the trial in 2018 in comparable weeks.

Time of day

Environmental messages

Reception of charge

Use of reusable cups at test stores was highest in the morning.

Promotions and giveaways at launch and during the week of Earth Day caused spikes in reusable cup use at test stores.

Anecdotal feedback showed that the 5p charge was positively received by the majority of customers and store partners.

Summary 7

The proportion of hot drinks sold in reusable cups also increased at control stores, from 2.2% before to 3.3% during the trial. This was likely due to increased media profile of the issue of cup waste, promotions and giveaways.

7/32 Summary


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The results from the trial show that the 5p charge, alongside clear communications to customers, strong internal communications and reusable cup giveaways, led to a 126.8% increase in the use of reusable cups in the test stores. An increase in use of reusable cups at both the control stores and all British company-owned stores around the time of the Earth Day promotions indicates that internal communications and incentives did affect consumer behaviour but the impact was significantly greater in the trial stores where the 5p charge was also in place. These two factors indicate that the 5p charge was an effective tool in moving customers towards using reusables. However the provision of good staff training, customer communications and other incentives can significantly increase the effectiveness of the charge.

8

Summary


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY If the 5p charge, with supporting communications and staff training, was rolled out nationwide it would have a significant impact. This trial demonstrates encouraging progress but there is no indication that reusable cups will become a replacement for the majority of disposable cups. Recycling of disposable cups is therefore still crucially important and work must also be done to significantly improve the infrastructure and communication for paper cup recycling.

9

Summary


CONTEXT In the UK it is estimated that 2.5 billion disposable paper cups are sold each year, of which only around 0.25% are recycled. The issue has been brought to public attention by various media campaigns over the past two years.

10


THE UK POLICY CONTEXT Public awareness and concern about plastic pollution has grown significantly in a short space of time, not least due to the BBC’s ‘Blue Planet II’ television series and on-going media campaigns such as Sky’s Ocean Rescue and the Daily Mail’s ‘War on Plastic’. Government and industry have begun to respond to these mounting concerns about the impact plastics are having, especially on our oceans and marine life. Addressing plastic pollution is at the heart of the Government’s environmental strategy, ‘A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment’, which has a headline objective of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042. Consultations have been held on introducing a Deposit Return Schemes for single-use drinks containers and on introducing taxes or charges to reduce single-use plastic waste. The success of the 5p carrier bag charge – which saw usage drop by over 85% in its first six months and generated £29 million for 11

charities and good causes – is widely seen as a public policy blueprint. A £62 million fund has also been created to fight ocean plastic pollution. Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee has made recommendations on how producers and retailers can improve sustainability and increase recycling rates.

This report sets out the results from the Starbucks trial and Hubbub’s recommendations. Trewin Restorick CEO and founder Hubbub

Collectively, industry efforts are being made to rely less on plastic materials, improve sustainability, and improve waste collection and recycling facilities. As part of its ongoing efforts in this area, Starbucks decided to test the impact of a selfimposed 5p charge on disposable coffee cups in 35 London stores. The company committed to openly sharing results so that policy-makers and other companies could learn more about the impact of a charge on consumer behaviour. This detailed evidence will help to create more informed policy in our attempts to eliminate avoidable plastic waste. Context


BACKGROUND TO CUP WASTE In the UK it is estimated that 2.5 billion disposable paper cups are sold each year, of which only around 0.25% are recycled. The issue has been brought to public attention by various media campaigns over the past two years. Paper cups have become one of the symbols for the disposable nature of our modern society and have been the cause of much consternation and confusion in recent years. The public outcry about coffee cups, and single use plastics generally has been intensified by the socalled ‘Blue Planet effect’ as well as other media campaigns and the publication of numerous new reports on plastics in the ocean. Paper cups can be recycled but only if they are collected in a separate waste stream, due to the plastic lining on the inside of the plastic cup which means it cannot be recycled in paper or mixed recycling waste streams. Reusable cups have long been an option to reduce disposable cup waste but, for the consumer, carrying around a reusable cup, washing it, and storing an empty (but dirty) cup is simply more hassle than most are prepared to put up with. Notwithstanding a 25p discount offered on drinks served in reusable cups, usage stood at just 2.3% of hot drinks sold at Starbucks companyowned stores in Britain when this trial was announced.

12

Context


CUP CHARGE R E C O M M E N D AT I O N In January 2018, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) made a recommendation to the Government to introduce a 25p charge on disposable paper cups (dubbed the ‘Latte Levy’) and for all paper cups to be recycled by 2023. The Environmental Audit Committee is a cross party committee whose remit cuts across government. They based their recommendation for a ‘latte levy’ partly on the success of the plastic carrier bag charge. The announcement of their recommendation stated “Although some coffee shops provide discounts for customers who bring their own cup, uptake of these offers is low at only 1-2% of coffee purchases. The Committee noted the impact on consumer behaviour of the plastic bag charge (which reduced plastic bag usage by over 83% in the first year), and concluded that consumers are more responsive to a charge than a discount.” This approach is also supported by a study carried out by Cardiff University in 2016. The 13

three-month trial tested a range of measures to encourage the use of reusable coffee cups at twelve business and university café sites. The study found that, while a 25p charge on disposable cups increased the use of reusable cups by 3.4%, discounts of 1525p on reusable cups had no impact on their usage. This suggests that people are more sensitive to losses than to gains when making decisions.

The research found that financial incentives, reusable alternatives, and clear messaging all had a direct impact on consumer behaviour. And that while the increases for individual measures were modest, the greatest behavioural change occurred when the measures were combined.

Context


HUBBUB’S ACTIVITY In 2016 Hubbub ran the #1MoreShot trial in Manchester to test whether the public would recycle their paper cups if they were provided with cup recycling bins and good communications. The trial recycled almost 30,000 cups in three months from one street, demonstrating that the public are willing to recycle their cups especially if the bins are located in managed locations such as university campuses, hospitals and workplaces. In April 2017 Hubbub, along with Simply Cups, launched the Square Mile Challenge which built on the learnings from #1MoreShot with a much larger campaign in the City of London. 36 large employers in the City signed up to receive discounted cup bins and collections, 7 bins were located on the streets with the cooperation of City of London Corporation and the campaign was backed by all leading coffee chains including Starbucks.

14

Each retailer introduced cup recycling bins in store and the public could recycle their cups in any bin regardless of where they bought the drink. This was supported by a communications and social media campaign providing consistent messages about cup recycling across the whole of the City. The Square Mile Challenge recycled 5 million cups in 12 months, demonstrating the impact that can be made through collaboration, experimentation and stimulating a national debate. Recycling disposable cups is a significant improvement on simply throwing them away, and finding a recycling solution is a vitally important part of solving the issue of paper cup waste. However, following the so-called ‘waste hierarchy’ of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, the first priority is to try to reduce the number of disposable cups used in the first place. How can the public be encouraged to use ‘reusable’ cups?

Context


S TA R B U C K S ACTIVITY Starbucks introduced a discount for reusable cups when it opened its first UK store in 1998, which was increased to 25p in 2008. Since 2014 Starbucks has offered a ÂŁ1 reusable cup to make it easier for customers to reuse at a reasonable price. In 2016, as a way to heighten awareness and to incentivise use, Starbucks extended the reusable cup discount to 50p for a few months but found that this did not significantly shift customer behaviour. At the start of 2018 Starbucks commissioned research which found that almost half (48%) of people surveyed said they would carry a reusable cup to save money and reduce waste, yet at the time of the announcement only 2.3% of Starbucks customers in company-owned stores in Britain used reusable cups. Starbucks also recognised where more customers could be encouraged to use ceramic mugs when choosing to drink in store. The operations team increased communication to store to ensure a mug is always offered.

15

Context


THE TRIAL This report relates to a three month trial of adding a 5p paper cup charge in 35 selected London stores, to evaluate whether it would encourage customers to move away from single-use paper cups towards reusable cups. During the trial, participating stores added 5p on to the cost of any drink purchased in a single use paper cup, on top of the 25p discount already offered for using a reusable cup.

16


W H AT H A P P E N E D ?

3

months of trial

35 London stores

The trial ran from 26th February to 25th May 2018 in 35 London stores. Three groups of stores were selected which were geographically close together to avoid customers walking a short distance to a nearby store to avoid paying the charge. 13 stores were in the City of London, 11 were in London Central (West End) and 11 were in Outer West London (Chiswick, Richmond, Kew). The test stores represented three distinct customer demographic areas which could be compared against each other. Stores in

17

13 City stores

11 Central stores

11

Outer West stores

35 control stores

the City of London were classed as ‘Office’, stores in London Central were classed as ‘Retail / Tourist’ and stores in Outer West were classed as ‘Neighbourhood’.

Prior to the trial launch Hubbub carried out 30 interviews in selected participating stores with store partners and customers with the following aims:

35 control stores were also selected; they were spread across the same areas and matched to each trial store. Control stores did not add the 5p charge and they were monitored alongside trial stores throughout the trial.

• To understand customer awareness of

Usage of reusable cups was also monitored across all British stores.

• To discover what the main barriers are

the issue of coffee cup waste.

• To gauge the level of support for the

introduction of a 5p charge on disposable paper cups. preventing people from switching to reusables.

The trial


CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS Interviews with customers revealed that:

• The majority were aware of the issue of coffee cup waste and felt ‘something needs to be done about it’.

• There was support for the 5p being donated to an environmental charity.

• Convenience and practicality were considered to be more significant barriers than being charged an additional 5p.

• Common barriers cited were: routines do not support the

use of reusable cups; inconvenience of carrying around a reusable cup; not remembering to bring the reusable cup; washing out the reusable cup; many men mentioned that they don’t carry a bag so have nowhere to keep a reusable cup.

• Many were unaware of the 25p discount on reusable cups already available.

• Many were unaware that they could recycle disposable cups in store.

18

The trial


PA R T N E R INTERVIEWS Interviews with store partners revealed that:

• There were some concerns that the 5p charge might put customers off.

• However, it was generally felt that customers would soon come to accept the 5p charge.

• It was felt that regulars would be the most likely to switch to reusable cups.

• Everybody interviewed agreed that getting store partners on board would be crucial to the trial’s success.

• On the whole store partners were supportive, understood why paper cup usage is an important issue and were proud that Starbucks had taken the decision to run this trial.

19

The trial


IN STORE M AT E R I A L S As well as introducing the 5p charge, participating stores were provided with the following:

• In store communications one week before launch to inform customers that the trial was coming.

• In store communications during the trial to promote the 5p charge.

This included a sign to be placed at the bottom of the menu board; ‘strut cards’ to be displayed on the condiment bar and at the till; and a poster to be displayed prominently on the community boards in stores.

• Increased marketing of reusable cups for sale, for example moving them closer to the till.

• A paper cup recycling process was introduced in stores which did not have this already.

20

The trial


21

The trial


EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT It was clear at the outset of the trial that getting Starbucks partners on board would be crucial to the success of the trial.

• All store partners were sent an Operations Guide which clearly

explained the rationale for the trial, operational procedures, how to talk to customers about it, where the money was going, what communications materials they would receive and a page of FAQs.

• All store partners were fully briefed by their store managers on how to talk to customers about the 5p charge.

• Hubbub ran a series of briefing sessions with store managers

in each area to explain the background to the trial, what it was intended to achieve and how they and their colleagues in stores could help.

• A WhatsApp group was created for all participating Store

Managers, District Managers and Regional Directors to share feedback, questions and photos. This proved to be a very effective way to collectively share best practice.

22

The trial


MEDIA The trial received a significant amount of media coverage, which helped to increase awareness and educate consumers. It received three distinct media ‘moments’: in January when it was announced; in February when it launched; and in April when the midpoint results were announced. The trial received 123 pieces of coverage in total. It was featured in all major media outlets including BBC News, ITV News, Sky News and all major national newspapers.

23

The trial


KEY POINTS OF ACTIVITY As a way to kickstart usage of reusable cups 140 tumblers were given to each participating store. These were given away at launch to store partners and to customers, especially regulars. Store managers encouraged their teams to use reusable cups themselves so that they were bought into the trial and fully understood it. This had the additional benefit of normalising the behaviour for customers who saw store partners using reusable cups. Around Earth Day there were internal communications to celebrate Starbucks sustainability initiatives, and around 20 free ÂŁ1 reusable cups were made available per store to give away though the loyalty programme (My Starbucks Rewards).

24

The trial


FOLLOW UP STORE VISITS Hubbub visited stores again two weeks after launch to observe and understand how the trial was being received in store. Hubbub observed no major variance in the way the 5p charge was being presented across the participating stores. We conducted 20 further interviews with store partner and customers. The trial had had mainly positive feedback from customers and most store partners were surprised at how few complaints they had received about the 5p charge. The main feedback received from store partners was that more promotional material could be provided in store to promote both reusables and in store recycling. There were also requests for more information about how the money was being spent, following this Hubbub sent further information about the charity to be displayed on Community boards in store.

25

The trial


EXTERNAL FA C T O R S There were a number of external factors over the duration of the trial which may have had an effect on customer purchasing behaviour, including:

• Cold and warm weather spells during the three month trial. • Easter weekend, Easter holidays and May bank holiday. • Earth Day was on Sunday 22nd May, the theme in 2018 was plastic pollution.

• High profile media reports and announcements about coffee cups and plastics.

26

The trial


O P E R AT I O N A L CHALLENGES Operational challenges were limited due to the trial being well planned with clear and well-timed communications to stores, and the fact that store partners were supportive of the aims of the trial. However, there were some operational sticking points which could not be overcome during this trial.

• Mobile order and pay (MOP), whereby customers pre-order drinks

on the Starbucks app which is then ready to collect in a paper cup when the customer arrives in store to skip the queue. Starbucks is working through solutions to improve the use of reusables with this ordering system this for the future.

• Venti is a large (20 fluid ounce) coffee which is too large for the

£1 Starbucks reusable cups. There were therefore limited tumbler alternatives for venti drinkers during the trial to avoid paying the 5p charge, unless customers were able to purchase large reusable cups in advance.

• There are limited reusable cups/tumblers on sale specifically for ‘short’ coffees such as espressos.

• Some of the busier stores reported that explaining the 5p charge to customers took extra time which caused delays during peak times.

27

The trial


R E S U LT S Sales of hot drinks in reusable cups were closely monitored at participating and control stores to evaluate effectiveness. NB: all graphs show the use of reusable cups as a percentage of total hot drinks sold.

28


CUP SALES Reusable cups as % of hot drinks sold The 5p charge trial resulted in an encouraging increase in use of reusable cups as a percentage of hot drinks sold at the test stores, from an average of 2.2% before the trial, to 5.8% average during the trial. At the control stores this increased from 2.2% before the trial to 3.3% and in the entire British companyowned estate from 2.3% to 3.6%. So whilst all stores have seen an increase in use of reusables as a percentage of hot drinks, the rise was significantly higher at the test stores: an increase of 3.6% compared to 1.1% (control) and 1.3% (British company-owned market), indicating that the 5p charge along with the giveaways, point of sale communications and staff training succeeded in shifting customer behaviour.

29

Before trial

During trial 5.8%

6.0%

5.0%

3.6%

4.0%

3.3% 3.0%

2.2%

2.2%

2.3%

2.0%

1.0%

0.0%

Test stores

Control group

Market

Results


TRENDS OVER THE TRIAL PERIOD Use of reusables before and during the trial, and previous year. The graph shows usage of reusable cups before and during the trial period at the test stores, the control stores and the British company-owned market as a whole and covering the same period in the previous year. The trial ran from fiscal week 22-34.

Test stores

Control group

Market

Test stores FY17

Control group FY17

Market FY17

7.0% 6.0% 5.0% 4.0% 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% 15

30

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

Results


TRENDS OVER THE TRIAL PERIOD We can clearly see: 1. An increase in use of reusable cups across all company-owned British stores in 2018 compared to 2017, from an average of 1.7% in 2017 to 2.3% before the trial in 2018. This could be explained by the increased media coverage and heightened public awareness of the issue of disposable coffee cups along with the so-called ‘Blue Planet’ effect – the significant increase in public awareness of marine plastic pollution as a result of the BBC nature documentary.

31

2. An increase across all company-owned British stores during the trial period, peaking at fiscal week 29, which included Earth Day. Around Earth Day there were internal communications to celebrate Starbucks sustainability initiatives, and around 20 free £1 reusable cups were made available per store to giveaway though the loyalty programme (My Starbucks Rewards). This indicates that the giveaways combined with promotions and internal communication had an impact on use of reusables. It is worth exploring further to see if use of reusable cups remains high across all stores, or drops off.

3. The test stores show a higher level of use of reusables than both control stores and the company-owned stores around Britain, from the start of the trial period onwards. Use of reusables peaked at the start of the trial, supported by giveaways, communications and media coverage. It peaked again at fiscal week 29, mirroring the increase across the British companyowned stores in the market, boosted by the Earth Day promotion and giveaways, and then hovered at around 6%.

Results


L O C AT I O N S Comparison between different retail class/ location This graph illustrates the difference in reusable cup use between the three retail classes. Before the trial reusable cup use was lowest in the Retail / Tourist stores and this continued during the trial when it rose from 1.6% to 4.2% (+2.6%). The increase in use of reusables was highest in stores near offices (from 2.2% to 6%, an increase of 3.8%), closely followed by neighbourhood stores (2.8% to 6.5%, an increase of 3.7%).

Before trial

During trial

6.5%

6.0%

6.0%

5.0%

4.2% 4.0%

2.8%

3.0%

2.2% 2.0%

1.6%

1.0%

0.0%

Retail

32

Office

Neighbourhood

Results


T I M E O F D AY Comparison of different times of day Before the trial use of reusable cups was highest in the morning, tapering off towards the end of the day, and this overall pattern continued during the trial. The greatest increase in use of reusables was during the morning, when use of reusable cups went up to almost 8% from just under 3%.

Before trial

During trial 7.8%

8.0%

7.0%

6.0%

5.0%

4.4%

4.0%

3.0%

3.0%

2.8% 1.7%

2.0%

2.2% 1.2%

1.0%

1.0%

0.0%

AM

33

Lunch

Afternoon

Night

Results


FURTHER R E S U LT S ‘Take away’ versus ‘eat in’ consumption The data shows no significant shift in ‘take away’ consumption versus ‘eat in’ patterns. There was a small shift (1.3%) towards ‘take away’ at test stores, which was mirrored across the company-owned stores in Britain as a whole, indicating that this is not a factor that we need to consider when analysing the impact of the trial. Demographic considerations After the mid-point results were received, Hubbub visited 6 of the best performing stores and 6 of the stores performing least well, with the aim of understanding the reasons for variances in reusable cup use. Hubbub saw little difference in the way that the 5p charge was being communicated to customers, however some trends were identified: The 5p charge was particularly effective in the following circumstances: •

Stores with a lot of regulars and where a strong local community existed.

The 5p charge was less effective in the following circumstances: •

In areas with a high student population, these stores often had a high proportion of mobile order and pay and venti orders.

Stores surrounded by big office blocks for example in the City of London. Many customers expense their coffees or buy a large number of drinks, so were not discouraged by the 5p charge.

34

Results


FUNDS RAISED Over the course of the three months the trial donated proceeds to Hubbub Foundation UK, registered charity 1158700. Hubbub is a charity which explores innovative ways to interest the public in important sustainability issues, through different ‘hubs’ of activity: Food; Fashion; Homes; Neighbourhoods. The proceeds from the 5p charge allowed Hubbub to conduct interviews and store visits and support Starbucks on this trial report, monitoring its impact on customer behaviour. Hubbub also used the funds to support other innovative campaigns to reduce waste in London, for example the build of a boat made of recycled plastic which will take schoolchildren on ‘plastic fishing’ trips on the River Thames, experiencing marine plastic first hand and helping to clean up the river in the process.

35

Results


CONCLUSION The results from the trial show that the 5p charge, alongside clear communications to customers, strong internal communications and free reusable cup giveaways, had a small but significant impact on the use of reusable cups.

36


CONCLUSION The increase in use of reusable cups at both the control stores and all UK stores around Earth Day promotions indicates that internal communications and incentives do affect consumer behaviour, but the impact is significantly greater in the trial stores where the 5p charge was also in place. These two factors indicate that the 5p charge was an effective tool in moving customers towards using reusables. However the provision of good staff training, customer communications and other incentives can significantly increase the effectiveness of the charge.

37

Conclusion


CONCLUSION The general trend for customers using reusable cups was already on the increase, from a daily average of 1.7% in 2017 to 2.3% before the start of the trial in 2018. This demonstrates that the 5p charge was working with the grain of public opinion, and that it was a good time to facilitate a change that is welcomed by many customers. At its peak, the use of reusable cups in trial stores reached nearly 7%, which still leaves approximately 93% of drinks being sold in disposable cups. This trial demonstrates important progress but there is no indication that reusable cups will become a replacement for the majority of disposable cups. Recycling of disposable cups is therefore still crucially important and work must be done to significantly improve the infrastructure and communication for paper cup recycling. In addition, the industry should continue to test cup innovations for more widely recyclable paper cup alternatives, something which Starbucks is pursuing through its $10 million NextGen Cup investment. The trial did not test the effectiveness of the 5p charge in isolation, nor did it distinguish between different types of other intervention, such as communications and giveaways. It would be worthwhile to explore these factors further to test what has the biggest impact.

38

Conclusion


R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S •

Scale up the 5p charge nationwide, supported by staff training and communications. This would significantly increase the number of customers using reusable cups and therefore reduce the number of paper cups disposed of. More overt communications relating to the 5p charge in store. This might include window vinyls, or promoting the fact that any cup can be used not just Starbucks cups. More overt communication of the 25p discount for using reusable cups. This should include a refresh of the language used, for example avoid use of the word ‘tumbler’ which is not a commonly understood term in the UK. More overt communication of in store recycling, which should be closely linked to the 5p charge message. e.g. ‘Starbucks encourages use of reusable cups, but we

Conclusion 39

understand that it is not always practical therefore we offer in store recycling so we can also recycle your paper cup’. •

Share and celebrate successes in stores with store partners and customers which will reward and reinforce the change in behaviour.

Behaviour change and communication campaigns targeted at specific demographics, e.g. students, office workers, neighbourhood stores.

Targeted push on social media alongside the 5p charge to try to switch customers to reusables.

Further work needs to be done to understand how the charge can work for all customers including those who choose mobile order and pay, or who order venti coffees.

ompare the impact of the 5p charge C alongside different behaviour change interventions tested in isolation to understand the impact of the different interventions and roll out those that work best.

Hubbub recommends that the 5p charge is rolled out across all stores and that the funds raised are used to create an Innovation Hub to support innovative trials linked to the following 2 areas: 1. Behaviour change to increase uptake of reusable cups 2. Increasing recycling of disposable cups.

Conclusion 39/32


TH A N K YOU W W W. H U B B U B .O R G .U K

Charity Number 1158700

Starbucks disposable coffee cup charge trial I Hubbub impact report  

In 2018 Starbucks launched a trial of a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups across 35 stores in London. After an encouraging increase in reu...

Starbucks disposable coffee cup charge trial I Hubbub impact report  

In 2018 Starbucks launched a trial of a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups across 35 stores in London. After an encouraging increase in reu...