Catering team ditch disposable cups for a greener future

Disposable cups are to be banned from Solent NHS Trust’s two main hospital restaurants in a bid to be kinder to the environment.

From Tuesday 9  May, takeaway coffees and teas served at the Western Community Hospital, Southampton, and St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Portsmouth will be available only in reusable cups.

Our new zero-waste cups can be either purchased or rented at the place of purchase, or customers are welcome to bring in their own from home.

Alternatively, staff, patients and visitors can sit in the restaurant and enjoy their hot drink in china cup or mug as usual.

The move is expected to save the Trust around 27,000 disposable cups a year across both sites.

Jo Warwick, Building and Environmental Compliance Manager, said: “Disposable coffee cups have placed a huge strain on our environment.

“In the UK, 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year and only around 0.25% are recycled. Typically, these cups are coated with plastic to laminate the inside as well as having plastic lids.

“At Solent, we are very happy to get rid of these single-use cups and replace them with a greener option. If everyone made small changes like this, it would have a tremendous impact on our planet.”

Iain Robertson, Catering Operations Manager, said: “Ditching the disposable cups is a no-brainer in terms of reducing waste and pollution. We are pleased to do our bit to help the environment and are hoping our customers will be supportive of the initiative.”

Beige take-away cups, aimed primarily at patients and visitors who may visit our restaurants just occasionally, will cost £3 to rent, with the cost being refunded on return.

White cups, aimed more at staff and restaurant regulars, will cost £3.50 to buy. For an introductory period, customers can have their first coffee or tea for just £1.50 when buying one of our cups.

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