Boston Tea Party to ban all single-use plastic from 2020

Boston Tea Party
Image caption Boston Tea Party has 22 branches around England

An independent coffee chain that banned the use of single-use cups has said it will stop accepting all single-use plastics from suppliers by 2020.

Boston Tea Party saw its sales fall by £250,000 after banning single-use cups last summer.

Co-owner of the Bristol-based firm Sam Roberts said the latest aim was "a much bigger deal and much tougher thing to do, but we will get there".

He said he was in talks with suppliers to find ways of achieving this goal.

'Hard innovation'

"There's been a lot of head-scratching around costs, asking 'how we're going to pay for that?'... but ultimately we work with a lot of like-minded suppliers intentionally so they are all on board to help us solve this problem.

"Together we are a much bigger force of businesses and they will be putting pressure on their suppliers, so it's going to take a lot of hard innovation, a lot of thinking, a lot of money but we are going to go for it," Mr Roberts said.

He added that from 1 June the company would stop using plastic milk bottles and replace them with 13-litre reuseable milk containers known as pergals, which dispense chilled milk.

"We use around 190,000 plastic milk bottles - we recycle them, but where are they going?"

Rebecca Burgess, chief executive of City to Sea, a company preventing plastic pollution at source, said: "Boston Tea Party once again show themselves to be true industry leaders… and their collaborative approach to sharing learning with their competitors is inspirational.

"I hope more coffee chains will follow suit and work together to address this global problem", she said, adding that an estimated 150 million tonnes of single-use plastic was produced every year.

Boston Tea Party is continuing to run open days where competitors are invited to ask questions about how Boston Tea Party has reduced its plastic use.

Mr Roberts added that: "We would love more and more of them to get involved.

"We can't do this on our own but if we can get one of the big boys involved then that would be amazing."

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