FOOD and drink chains stand accused of eco-hypocrisy for barring paper cup reuse but charging up to £11 for plastic alternatives.
Conservation groups accuse the giants of cashing in on their environmentally conscious punters while doing little to save the oceans from plastic pollution.
Caffe Nero is among those barring customers on “safety grounds” from reusing their paper cup to buy a second drink, while flogging recyclable plastic beakers for £11 a pop.
Pret shares its stance and charges £10 for a recyclable.
Costa, which could not “guarantee” its paper cups “remain safe and hygienic for reuse”, asks £4.95 for a plastic recyclable.
Burger King does not allow customers to reuse their paper cups, citing “hygiene and contamination” fears. It does not sell plastic recyclable cups.
Similarly, Subway neither allows customers to reuse paper cups nor offers plastic reusables.
‘RIDING ON SHIRT TAILS OF GRETA THUNBERG’
Restaurant chain Leon does allow reuse but also charges £15 for a glass mug with plastic lid.
Starbucks does not recommend it, but allows it. It charges £1 for a reusable one.
Marc Gander, of the Consumer Action Group, said it was “amazing” that big chains “have so little faith in their own cardboard cups they don’t trust them to be used a second time”.
He said: “I don’t think it’s so much to do with climate change and plastic pollution as riding on the shirt tails of Greta Thunberg.”
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Louise Edge, of Greenpeace UK, urged Brits to carry a reusable cup.
She said: “You still have to pay for your coffee, but not the high cost of a cup — and neither will sea birds, turtles and whales.”
Some 2.5billion disposable coffee cups are used every year in the UK.