Plastic pollution campaign group City to Sea has launched a 38 Degrees petition “to get reusables back on the menu”. 

The petition, backed by several other green groups and brands, calls on high-street chains & businesses across the UK including Pret a Manger, Caffé Nero, Greggs and McDonald’s, to start accepting reusable coffee cups, containers and water bottles again.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown has been lifted there has been a huge increase in plastic pollution, and take-away packaging is a big part of the problem. City to Sea argues that “now is not the time to backtrack on single-use plastic” and that instead “we need to build back better and create a new normal – one that values our resources and champions reuse over single-use”. 

The group says it acknowledges that foodservice businesses face challenges time, but says that reusables “can be used safely and accepting the doesn’t have to be complicated”. It cites a recent intervention by over 100 scientists on the subject, and praises Costa Coffee and Starbucks – along with hundreds of independents – for accepting reusables again. 

The petition adds: “These businesses (national and multinational chains) make up a huge  share of takeaway sales within the UK. By refusing to let their customers choose to reuse, they are contributing to a mountain of completely avoidable waste.”

• Britain uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups a year 

• And over 7.7 billion plastic water bottles . 

• The production of disposable coffee cups is responsible for the felling of a million trees a year, 

• And uses around 1.5 billion litres of water, stripping our planet of precious natural resources at a time when we should be protecting it.

Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet on Unsplash