Banning single use plastics by 2020

We are facing a climate emergency, some experts say that in 12 years this situation will be irreversible

When hearing this numbers a year ago, I started reducing plastic from my daily use. Actually, in the office where I work from, we take our coffees in a “non-plastic” cup. We all have our branded cup, and we bring it downstairs to the cafeteria to fill up them with coffee. Last week, the new owners of the business, rejected my cup: “We just fill up our cups, it’s for sanitary measures, sorry.”  I still don’t know if that was the reason, or if he just did not want to use my cup. 

Suddenly, few days ago, Briony shared this story with the team, and we decided Boston Tea Party to be the Corkscrew Thinking in Action Case Study this week

For all you to know, Boston Tea Party is a coffee chain that has 22 cafés around the UK. 

What makes you so special?

Boston Tea Party is the industry leader, maybe not on sales, but for its commitment to sustainability. On June 1st 2018, they removed the plastics cups they were selling,  which had to be a real challenge. Actually, on June 1st 2019, they stoped using plastic milk bottles. Their goal is to ban single-use plastics by 2020. 

Boston Tea party has replaced the plastic cups for “The Loan Cup”. A reusable cup made from biodegradable materials. Also, they have replaced their plastic milk bottles with 13 litres reusable milk containersSo their commitment with the environment, and how they are tackling it make their actions so inspiring.

Above of all, they encourage other businesses from the industry to join the movement by sharing facts and numbers from their process. They have a FAQ’s section on their website. There you can find how’s being the process of banning single use plastics and how they stay true to their commitment with sustainability. 

Basically, they are sharing knowledge, learnings and good habits to inspire and convince others to take action on plastic. 

How do they do it?

Boston Tea Party ethically minded,  from using free range and organic ingredients, to being powered by green energy and recycling all our waste (including food waste)

The one that was not contributing to their sustainability value was they were issuing single-use plastics. This is why they released “The Loan Cup”.

The truth is that moving the business to single use plastic free has been a risky move for this company. They saw their sales fall by 25% after banning single use cups last year.  

Even so, in the last months they have not delivered over 125.000 takeaway plastic cups and they have sold over 40.000 ecoffee cups.

So, as takeaway of this story… I would like to ask you a question... Is it enough to recycle? Or we should start avoiding plastic and looking for more sustainable alternatives?



Here at Corkscrew we love to celebrate Corkscrew Thinking across the globe. We’re looking for creative and courageous individuals, companies and educators and we want your help. If you think you’ve seen Corkscrew Thinking in action and would like to highlight the excellence then send us some details below. Please include as much information as possible such as web addresses, contact details and descriptions. If the Corkscrew Thinking in action you suggest is highlighted we’ll be sure to give you credit so leave your details too! 

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