Environmental charity Hubbub has joined forces with Starbucks with a reusable cup trial at Gatwick Airport.
The one-month scheme will reveal whether customers hand in their cups for re-use before boarding their flights.
A total of 2,000 reusable Starbucks cups will be put in circulation throughout the terminal, with the coffee chain estimating that if 250 customers opted for reusable cups each day during the trial it could save more than 7,000 cups from going to waste.
Drop off points for the reusable cups will be installed throughout the airport’s South Terminal to help reduce paper cup waste and improve consumers’ throwaway behaviour.
Starbucks customers in the terminal will be able to borrow a free reusable cup for any drinks purchased instead of a disposable paper cup which they can then deposit at one of five “cup check-in points” throughout the airport prior to boarding their flight.
A 5p additional charge will be incurred for those purchasing paper cups, as with all UK Starbucks outlets.
Jaz Rabadia, UK senior manager of energy and sustainability at Starbucks, said: “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.”
Trewin Restorick, CEO and co-founder of Hubbub, said: “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.”