How did Costa celebrate “WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY”?

16 June 2019

Lab Chat

Costa Coffee UAE commemorated this year’s World Environment Day by offering free coffee to any customer who brought in a reusable cup to any of their outlets across the country. The national incentive was geared towards raising awareness over the danger of waste pollution (especially with regard to single-use coffee cups) and encouraging caffeine addicts to carry a cup with them wherever they go.

Coffee cups in the crosshairs

The initiative follows on from the success of their introduction of a Dh2 (£0.43) reduction in the price of its coffee for those who chose a reusable cup over a single-use one. With more than 20,000 patrons having taken Costa up on the offer to date, it has saved a massive amount of unrecyclable waste from ending up in landfill, thus boosting Costa’s environmental profile and helping to reduce the pollution on our planet.

Outside of the Middle East, Costa have led by example in terms of environmental responsibility in other parts of the world as well. In the UK, the company pledged to recycle as many cups as are consumed by their customers every year. They plan to do this by subsidising waste companies’ efforts to recycle the troublesome items to the tune of £70 (Dh326) per tonne of waste.

Plastic up next

Having made inroads into the huge problem of single-use coffee cup pollution, Costa is also setting its sights on plastics. Given the staggering revelation that biodegradable bags are not tangibly better for the environment than plastic ones, there has been a global focus to concentrate on re-evaluating our attitudes towards the problem of plastic pollution.

Costa’s reaction to this has been to replace all plastic straws in its outlets with an environmentally-friendly alternative, thus reducing its consumption of these wasteful items. The switch is being celebrated through the creation of a massive artwork installation by renowned sculptor Mariska Nell, who has transformed 60,000 used straws into a huge globe on show to visitors to the UAE at DXB airport.

Industry must act

Costa Coffee UAE believe that meaningful changes must come from the top down and that it is the responsibility of industry leaders, such as themselves, to implement reforms and introduce incentives that will allow customers to make environmentally-friendly choices. “The food and drink industry is really waking up to the threat of plastic on the world’s environment and we as a company are committed to making changes to ensure a more sustainable offering,” said Shemaine Jones, marketing chief at Costa Coffee UAE.

“We commissioned Mariska to create the globe art installation using our old plastic straws to creatively highlight the vast use of plastic we are ridding from our stores and make travellers in the airport stop and think about their own sustainability efforts. Whilst we are making a lot of changes, these are still only the first steps in a long-term strategy to overhaul our environmental practices and we look forward to joining together with our customers to reduce global waste.”

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