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Waste campaign

Costa launches reusable cup trial in Glasgow

Reusable cups aim to cut down on waste

Costa Coffee has revived the campaign to cut down on waste by launching a trial of a new reusable cup in Glasgow – venue for the COP26 environment summit.

The company has introduced a scheme called BURT – ‘Borrow, Use, Reuse, Take Back’ – which uses digital technology to encourage customers to retun cups to any participating outlet.

The trial launches today across 14 stores in Glasgow and will last for six months.

Customers set up an account by scanning a QR code displayed in one of the 14 participating stores. By making a one-off £5 payment to join the scheme, they can then scan the QR code on the base of a BURT cup, which links the cup to the customer’s account, via blockchain technology.

The cup can be returned to a participating Costa Coffee store at a time that suits them, where it will be scanned back in by the team, delinked from their account, and hygienically machine-washed in store, ready for the next customer.

The trial is being run in partnership with the digital agency, Austella, on its innovative blockchain-powered Valari platform.

It aims to reduce the number of single-use cups used and make it easier for customers who may have forgotten their reusable cups to still be able to pick up a coffee on-the-go, without waste. It is also preferable for those who choose not to carry their own cup around. 

The BURT cups are made from high-quality and durable stainless steel, making them long-lasting and easy to clean in Costa’s in-store dishwashers.


Commenting on the trial, Neil Lake, Managing Director, Costa Coffee UK&I, said: “We are excited to be the first national coffee company to be offering a solution like BURT, to further incentivise the uptake of reusable cups in our stores.

“It will also help us understand more about how the UK high street can lead the way in ensuring the long-term environmental sustainability of our planet.”

Barry Fisher, CEO at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Glasgow has been the focal point for a raft of work to address cup waste, via our Cup Movement in Glasgow campaign, so we are delighted to see this innovative trial taking place in the city.

“Effective reuse solutions are essential to reducing waste, changing the way that we consume, and addressing the climate emergency.

“As the city prepares to host COP26, we look forward to supporting Costa with this initiative and stepping up consumer engagement with them and other retailers, working to facilitate the necessary transition towards more sustainable consumption.”

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