The roll-out of Pret A Manger's coffee cup recycling scheme follows successful trials in London, Leeds and Glasgow

recycling stand

Pret's recycling scheme encompasses all coffee cups, regardless of brand (Credit: Pret A Manger)

Sandwich chain Pret A Manger has rolled out its coffee cup recycling scheme to more than 350 shops across the UK, following successful pilot schemes in London, Leeds and Glasgow.

The collection points will allow customers to leave all paper coffee cups — including those from other brands — for team members to recycle.

Pret’s cup collection initiative was initially trialled within stores in London and Manchester in 2017.

The chain’s director of strategy and sustainability Laura Gutowski said: “Doing our bit for the planet is enormously important to us at Pret.

“We are absolutely committed to improving recycling rates of our coffee cups and we want it to be as easy as possible for customers — and those passing our shops — to get involved.

“That’s why we have put our recycling points on the shop floor, rather than hidden away behind the counter, and why we’ll happily accept any high street coffee cups, not just those from Pret.”


Discount increase for Pret A Manger customers using reusable coffee cups

The initiative is part of Pret’s efforts to improve and incentivise more environmental action in its stores.

In January last year, the firm doubled its discount for customers who use in their own reusable cups from 25p to 50p.

Since then, usage of reusable vessels has increased close to 20-fold, with more than 150,000 drinks served in reusable cups every week.

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Pret A Manger introduced its own-brand reusable cups in 2018 (Credit: Pret A Manger)

Its introduction has also seen the firm’s customers saving more than six million paper cups since January 2018.

In June of the same year, Pret announced it was to sell its own reusable takeaway coffee cups.

Teaming up with specialists Ecoffee Cup, the cups are made from lightweight sustainable bambo fibre, with a re-sealable, non-drip lid.

Speaking at the time, Pret A Manger’s then CEO Clive Schlee said: “We introduced a market-leading discount of 50p for using a reusable cup at the start of the year.

“An organic filter coffee for 49 pence must be the best value cup of coffee in the UK.”


Pret A Manger completes nationwide roll-out of ingredient labels

The roll-out of Pret A Manger’s coffee cup recycling initiative is the second scheme to go nationwide in as many weeks, with full ingredient labelling on freshly-made products available in all of its 391 UK shops after the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15.

Tragic Natasha died after eating a Pret A Manger sandwich containing sesame, which wasn’t listed as an allergen on the packaging as it was not required by law.

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Pret A Manger has expanded its full ingredient labelling scheme for freshly made food across all of its UK stores (Credit: Wikimedia/Zhangyang/,Victoria_Place.jpg)

As a result of these changes, all of Pret’s freshly made products now have a full list of ingredients, with the presence of 14 EU declarable allergens highlighted in bold.

The company’s CEO Pano Christou said: “When we launched the Pret Allergy Plan, we said we would learn from the past and make meaningful changes to help customers with allergies.

“In less than a year, we have made the biggest change to Pret kitchens in our history.

“Software developers have created new labelling technologies.

“Walls have been knocked down to provide extra space in our kitchens.

“Electricians have been to every shop, weaving wires through some of the oldest buildings in the UK.

“It has been a real team effort. I know it’s been challenging for our shops while we’ve made all these changes.

“I want to thank every team member for what they have achieved.

“Our task now is to keep delivering on the Pret Allergy Plan. Pret’s commitment is absolutely clear: to make sure that every customer has the information they need to make the right choice for them.”