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Starbucks tests a reusable cup program at London's Gatwick Airport

Starbucks has launched a month-long trial of a reusable cup program at London's Gatwick Airport.

Customers at their South Terminal location will either be able to request a free reusable cup or pay 5 pence (6 cents) for a paper cup. If customers choose the reusable cup, they will be able to drop it in five places throughout the terminal before boarding the aircraft, the coffee fight announced in a press release on Sunday.

Last year, Starbucks implemented a paper cup fee on all of its UKcafes. The dividend from this fee is donated to U.K. environmental charity Hubbub, which funds reusable cup trials and other environmental projects.

Ca. 7 million paper cups are used annually at the airport, of which about 5.3 million are recycled. Through the new program, approx. 2,000 Reusable Cups Used at the Terminal

"The purpose of working with Hubbub and Gatwick is to re-create a new culture by giving customers the opportunity to recycle cups instead of paper for free," says Jaz Rabadia, Starbucks UK, Senior Energy and Sustainability Manager, in a statement, "Our goal is to save 7,000 one-time cups over the month to find the best ways to recycle where it's usually harder to do it ̵[ads1]1; such as airports." 19659002] To achieve this goal, 250 customers would have to request reusable cups every day.

Gatwick employees will collect the cups from the drop-off points, wash them and return them to Starbucks for reuse.

Airport Sustainability leader, Rachel Thompson, expressed strong support for trial, which she said suits Gatwick's broader environmental goals.

Hubbub's CEO Trewin Restorick said an airport is an ideal environment for this trial rdi it is a closed environment and generally places large amounts of paper waste. There are also plans to pursue several programs.

"What we learn here gives valuable insight into how we can distribute a reusable sample in not only other airports but also many other environments," he said in the press release. "The ambition behind the experiment is to help create a new culture of re-use on the go and investigate how customers respond to releasing their cups to be washed and used again."

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