This week, London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) has revealed its very first reusable coffee cup trial, which comes as part of a collaboration between Starbucks and British environmental charity Hubbub. For one month, customers at the chain’s South Terminal location can decide to use a reusable coffee mug.
London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) is trialing a reusable coffee mug initiative, something that it hopes will help to reduce the proliferation of single-use plastics. The month-long trial, which began on Monday, is part of a collaborative effort between Starbucks and Hubbub, a London-based environmental charity.
According to a statement by the charity, the campaign, dubbed #CupCupandAway, “…will provide an innovative approach helping customers to reduce disposable cup use throughout the international airport’s South Terminal. Starbucks customers will be given the option to borrow a free reusable cup for their drink instead of using a paper cup, which they can then drop off at one of five ‘Cup Check-In’ points throughout the airport before they board their flight.”
These check-in points are located at the coffee shop’s airside location at Gatwick Airport as well as four different locations around the South Terminal. These used cups are then collected and washed for reuse.
This initiative, it says, “…is a major shift as most people do not take reusable cups to airports and consequently, Gatwick currently disposes of 7 million paper cups annually of which 5.3 million are recycled.”
As part of the trial, 2,000 reusable cups will be available in the airport’s South Terminal. The overall goal, explains the charity, “…is to help create a new culture of reuse on-the-go and explore how customers respond to dropping their cups back off to be washed and used again. The results will give a unique insight into the challenges of changing behavior at a busy international airport.”
Speaking out about the initiative to The Guardian, Trewin Restorick, Hubbub’s chief executive and co-founder, said, “We know people care about waste, but it’s often hard to do the right thing when traveling. We want to find out whether people will get onboard with reusing cups if we make it easy and convenient. The airport is the ideal environment to trial a reusable cup scheme as it has the potential to reduce large volumes of paper cup waste.”
Rachel Thompson, the airport’s sustainability lead, also offered her comments on the trial, saying, “There is strong public support for measures to reduce waste and we are delighted to support a retailer with an innovation that can help travelers do that.”