The aim of the trial is to put 2,000 reusable Starbucks cups in circulation throughout Gatwick’s South Terminal, which could drastically reduce the number of paper cups being used each day. For example, if only 250 customers opted for reusable each day, it could see over 7,000 paper cups saved in one month.
Jaz Rabadia, UK senior manager of energy and sustainability at Starbucks, “We are optimistic that the ‘Cup Check-In’ points around the airport will provide enough places for customers to return their cups on the way to their gate, but also recognize this might not for everyone. Our goal is to save 7,000 disposable cups over the course of the month, to find out the best ways to drive reuse where it is typically harder to do so – such as at airports.”
Cups will be collected by Gatwick’s waste management team to be washed and sterilised in line with the airport’s safety standards and returned to Starbucks ready for customer consumption
Gatwick Airport sustainability lead Rachel Thompson added, “There is strong public support for measures to reduce waste and we are delighted to support one of our retailers with an innovation that can help travellers do that. We are looking forward to seeing how the trial goes and what we can learn to improve the solution.
“This trial fits well with Gatwick’s own circular economy ethos, which sees us utilize as many recovered resources as possible from within the airport estate.”
Customers wishing to choose a disposable paper cup are still welcome and able to do so and will incur the 5p (US$0.06) paper cup charge that is in place in all Starbucks stores.