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Designed by bottle manufacturer Chilly’s, the 500ml reusable bottles are available in 14 Pret stores for £20 and can be refilled for free using Pret’s filtered water stations that are available in selected shops across the country.

The bottles feature three exclusive Pret designs and are made to keep drinks either hot or cold for 12 and 24 hours respectively.

“Plastic bottles are a problem,” Pret’s chief executive Clive Schlee said. “We all feel it even before we hear the shocking statistics about millions of tonnes of plastic ending up in our oceans each year. I’m thrilled that we’ve partnered with Chilly’s to create a range of reusable bottles and I hope our customers love the designs as much as we do.”

Deposit scheme trial

The launch coincides with the start of a new Pret plastic deposit return scheme, which is claimed to be a UK-first. The two-month trial will see Pret accept and recycle any plastic bottles taken into three shops in Brighton. A 10p deposit will be returned when Pret-branded plastic bottles are given back.

Pret states that the feedback has been positive so far – 15% of plastic bottles were returned on the first day. If successful, the high-street chain will roll out the scheme to more locations later this year.

It comes after the Government’s plan last month to create a deposit return scheme in England for single-use drinks containers.

At the start of the year, Pret doubled its discount for customers who bring reusable cups into stores to 50p.

Pret has been working with companies such as Simply Cups and A Short Walk to introduce recyclable and renewable packaging for its coffee cups. The company is also looking to reduce the number of plastic bottles sold at its outlets and on the high streets, by offering free filtered water and reusable glass bottles at its three Veggie Pret shops.

With research showing that an estimated 2.5 billion paper coffee cups are discarded in the UK each year, a host of high-street chains have responded to media and consumer backlash. 

Costa Coffee launched a recycling scheme in all of its stores to ensure that as many as possible of its own takeaway cups – and those from its competitors – are recycled. Starbucks followed with a similar initiative, launching a new in-store paper cup recycling bin aimed at encouraging customers to return take-away cups back into the store and boost overall recycling levels.

George Ogleby

© Faversham House Ltd 2022 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

Comments (6)

  1. Ian Byrne says:

    My current water bottle is — a Pret single use carbonated water bottle, reused multiple times with tap water. I’m not sure why more people don’t do this – carbonated water bottles in particular last a long time; I sometimes use non-UK bottles to make it obvious that they are not sold.
    Many bottles have a "do not reuse" warning – but I have never understood why a single-use bottle should be inherently less safe trhan a multiple use bottle, such as those sold to cyclists.

  2. Andy Cook says:

    Single use "plastic bottles" may release plastic into the water which can interfere with sex hormones.

    (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/why-not-re-use-plastic-water-danger-dirty-bacteria-bottles-sex-hormones-toilet-a7809696.html).

    It would be interesting to see a correlation with single use plastic bottle uptake with the reported decrease in fertility rates in the western world. How has supply in glass bottles / cans changed over to plastic bottles during this time period?

  3. Stewart Dunn says:

    A bit steep at 20 although it will make a difference.

  4. Ian Byrne says:

    I think the sex hormone argument may be overstated – why should refilling a bottle with tap water result in more plasticisers leaching into the water than when it is filled at source? A reused bottle is unlikely to have (tap) water in it for more than a few hours; a bottle of water bought from a convenience store may have had the water in contact with the plastic for several months.

  5. Anna McArdle says:

    I love that Pret is making so many clear actions towards sustainability, but why do they still offer only plastic teaspoons and put milk in a single-use espresso cup? It’d be more symbolic, in my opinion, for their stores to phase out the use of these items for eat-in customers at the very least before implementing a reusable bottle scheme that some customers may be priced out of.

  6. Andy Cook says:

    It’s not the water source, but the difference in durability for single use vs reusable bottles. Single use bottles degrade faster and therefore are more likely to have plastic leach into the water if reused.

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