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Pret A Manger coffee shops to do away with plastic bottles in bid to help save environment

Coffee giant Pret A Manger is planning to get rid of its plastic bottles in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.

Last week, the company started trialling reusable bottles and filtered water stations in a handful of shops.

In a post on Pret’s official website, CEO Clive Schlee said: “Plastic bottles are a problem.

“We all feel it even before we hear the shocking statistics about millions of tonnes ending up in our oceans each year and imagine the devastating impact this has on marine wildlife.

What else can be done to save the environment?

“Pret has always tried to lead on food waste – we’ve been donating our unsold food to the homeless every night since our first shop opened more than 30 years ago.

“We are making inroads on the problem of packaging waste by reducing where we can and making more of it recyclable.

“This includes working to find a solution to the fiendish coffee cup problem. We recognise we have lots to do.”

The trial started at all three Veggie Pret shops and will extend to Manchester shops by the end of the month.

Staff will be encouraging customers to fill up their bottles for free using new filtered water stations, and these shops will also start selling two sizes of reusable glass bottles alongside the regular water bottles, so “the choice is clear”.

Mr Schlee added: “The aim is to understand if customers will choose to refill a bottle rather than buying a new plastic one.

“Plastic bottles present a real challenge and there are two schools of thought within Pret.

“The passionate environmentalists say stop selling them altogether, while the pragmatists say make it as easy as you can for customers to use fewer plastic bottles.

“We are looking carefully at both options. I tend towards the pragmatist end myself.”

The trial of reusable bottles and taps in the Veggie Pret and Manchester shops is said to be “just the start” for Pret in its bid to try and do more when it comes to packaging and the impact on the environment.

Have you or would you make the switch to a reusable bottle? Is there still a place for plastic bottles or can we do without them entirely? Have your say in the comments section below.

 

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