A new study conducted by Zero Waste Scotland has identified that selling disposable cups can make more people choose the option of a sustainable drink than offering reusables discounts.

Through various trials, noted that customers switched to reusables for on-the-go coffee and tea options when cafés introduced equivalent charges for disposable cups replacing discounts for reusable cups.

Zero Waste Scotland conducted the trial in collaboration with the public sector.

The study saw four public sector cafés in the country stop offering discounts for reusable cups, and instead offered drinks in disposable cups by reducing the discount offered on reusables on the total price of a drink.

This move allowed the four companies to keep overall price of a hot drink at the same price, as well as increase the number of customers switching from disposable to reusable cups by 50%.

Zero Waste Scotland environmental policy advisor Michael Lenaghan said: “We have shown that it isn’t necessary to charge people more for their coffee to persuade them to ditch a disposable cup in favour of a reusable one. You just need to put a clear price on the cup and let consumers decide if it is a price worth paying every time they buy a drink.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

“Single-use packaging has an environmental and a financial cost, but that financial cost is usually hidden from view, so consumers don’t have all the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions.

“Behavioural science has shown that people will make more effort to avoid a cost, such as a 25p charge on single-use cups than they will to obtain a gain of equal value, like a 25p reusable cup discount.”

He also noted that this move to reduce cost is being implemented in the country’s carrier bag charging scheme, and will be introduced in the forthcoming deposit return scheme.

Zero Waste Scotland launched a £1m fund to encourage businesses to contribute ideas to mitigate the menace of single-use packaging.