Costa launches reusable coffee cup with contactless payment technology

On-the-go food and drink giant Costa Coffee is stocking a reusable coffee cup with a contactless payment chip across its UK stores, in a bid to incentivise customers to reduce their takeaway cup consumption.

Developed in partnership with Barclays, the cup has a detachable silicone base with an integrated contactless payment chip, which customers can top-up like they would an Oyster Card or gift card.

Using the bank’s bPay technology, the cup, called Clever Cup, enables users to make contactless payment up to £30 in Costa’s 2,380 UK stores. Users can also top up their balance and track payments online or via a dedicated app for Android and Apple phones and tablets.

“Contactless technology has become increasingly prominent in our daily lives, and through the launch of the new Costa / Barclaycard Clever Cup, we hope to appeal to those tech-savvy customers to help facilitate and drive environmentally-friendly behaviour,” Costa’s managing director Jason Cotta said.

“Whilst we are committed to ensuring more takeaway coffee cups are recovered and recycled we also want to incentivise and reward customers who help reduce the number of takeaway cups being wasted.”

The Clever Cups will be made available in all Costa outlets by the beginning of December, and will be sold for £14.99 each, with £1 from the profits of every sale being donated to The Costa Foundation.

Costa has decided to package the Clever Cups in cardboard packaging made from its own recycled takeaway coffee cups.

Recycling drive

The move from Costa comes at a time when the company is striving to recycle the equivalent of its entire annual sales of takeaway cups – at a financial cost to the business – by 2020.

In a drive to achieve this aim, the company will pay a £70 supplement to incentivise waste collectors, enabling them to invest in infrastructure that can increase the collection rates of the cups. Through this supplement, waste collectors Veolia, Biffa, Suez, Grundon and First Mile will see the value of coffee cups increase to around £120 per tonne

Costa already offers in-store recycling at more than 2,000 of its stores across the UK, and is set to have recycled 100 million cups by the end of 2018.

Costa additionally offers customers who bring reusable cups a 25p discount on their drinks – a similar incentive to those offered by Pret A Manger, Caffe Nero and Greggs. Competitor Starbucks, meanwhile, recently moved to add a 5p charge to its paper cups in addition to its 25p discount for reusable cup users – a decision which saw reusable cup use increase 156% in just six weeks.

Sarah George

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