Reducing Disposables and Plastic
Being the largest coffee shop brand in the Nordics and being a large provider of disposable materials, Espresso House undoubtedly has a big responsibility to secure the use and disposal of different materials including the materials we use for our guests. Our work in this area can be divided into: Reduce, Replace and Reuse. Our main focus has been on the plastic where or goal has been to reduce the serving methods using disposable plastics with 50%.
In 2020 an average of circa 62 % of Espresso House’s guests chose to sit down in our coffee shops when they had something to drink or eat. Using glass and porcelain to our guests that choose to sit-in provides the opportunity of reducing the use of disposables. We are currently trialing more sustainable serving options for cold drinks in-house. Finland and Germany today use real glass and we hope to see all countries follow in 2021. In 2019 we introduced the strawless lid and have since then avoided the use of just over five million straws.
We are aware that reducing the disposables is not enough, and that we also need to focus on making the disposables that are still in use more sustainable. We continuously try different options of both functional and environmentally better materials, that can replace existing disposable plastics. During 2020 we replaced our plastic straws with biodegradable paper straws and we replaced our plastic cutlery to FSC certified wood. This has eliminated our previous usage of approximately 17 tons* of plastic yearly on these items. During 2020, we also introduced new take away materials such as a new craft paper box for our baked goods, which replaced previous method of using plastic. In 2021 we will continue to find environmentally better materials for our lids and saladbowls.
At Espresso House we hold a range of reusables for sale in our coffee shops, and in the past couple of years we have renewed our reusables with new materials and designs. Since 2019 we offer rewards to our guests in our app when bringing their own reusable cup. We love when our guests bring their reusable cup and we would have hoped to see an increase in the use of reusables during 2020, however this was unfortunately not the case. As the pandemic took its grip in early 2020, we almost immediately stopped the option for our guests to bring their own reusable cup. This was done to take safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Not only did the use of reusables in the coffee shop drop, we also saw a sharp decline of sales of reusables. While the handling of reusable cups was ceased, we did still offer the double stamp as a symbolic reward, and to show our appreciation towards the guests who still brought theirs. In fact, just over 200 000 extra stamps were given during the period March-December 2020.