Starbucks Gatwick

Starbucks and Hubbub launch airport reusable cup trial with Gatwick

In partnership with Gatwick Airport, Starbucks and Hubbub are launching the first airport reusable cup trial.

The trial will provide drop off points for Starbucks reusable cups throughout the international airport’s South Terminal to help cut paper cup waste and address throw-away culture.

This trial aims to help customers reduce disposable cup usage within closed environments such as travel hubs. Customers at the Starbucks store will have 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.

Over 5.3 million of the seven million paper cups used at Gatwick each year are already being recycled but as recycling requires empty cups to be placed in the dry recycling bins, Starbucks and Hubbub have identified the potential to increase reusable cup options as well to limit the number of cups used in travel hubs where on-the-go packaging is prevalent.

The trial aims to put 2,000 reusable cups in circulation throughout Gatwick’s South Terminal. 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 MBE, UK senior manager of energy and sustainability at Starbucks, said: “The purpose of working with Hubbub and Gatwick is to help create a new culture of reuse on-the-go by giving customers the option of a reusable cup instead of paper for free. 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 recognise 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 airports.”

Rachel Thompson, Sustainability Lead, Gatwick Airport said: “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 utilise as many recovered resources as possible from within the airport estate.  By redesigning and investing in new waste collection and sorting facilities, and also in training to raise awareness about our journey toward zero waste, we have so far managed to hit a waste recycling and reuse rate of 70% this year. This includes all empty coffee cups and plastics and we also send zero waste to landfill.”

Trewin Restorick, CEO and co-Founder, Hubbub, said: “We know that people care about waste, but it’s often hard to ‘do the right thing’ when travelling. We want to find out whether people will get on board with reusing cups, if we make it easy and convenient. The airport is the ideal environment to trial a reusable cup scheme, as it is a closed loop environment and has the potential to reduce large volumes of paper cup waste. What we learn here will provide valuable insight into how to deploy a reusable trial in not only other airports, but many other environments.”


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