A UK coffee shop chain is set to pioneer a ban on disposable coffee cups and require customers to drink from a reusable cup.

Boston Tea Party, which owns 22 sites in the South West and Midlands, will introduce the ban on 1 June. Customers will be able to buy reusable Ecoffee cups, borrow a loan cup, or bring their own.

A previous incentive scheme, in which customers were offered a 25p discount to bring their own cups, resulted in a take-up of only 3% of those taking hot drinks away, said owner Sam Roberts.

“Many operators might well be secretly happy with this, as offering a sizable discount on a much larger % of takeaway drinks would prove very expensive indeed. We, however, are not,” he added.

“We want to demonstrate to other operators that to make a difference, big change is needed. We will make this work and we’ll share details of how we’ve done it with anyone who wants our help to do the same.”

BTP has also switched to paper straws and from plastic water bottles to glass ones.

Ancoats General Store in Manchester offers recyclable vegware cups, but about four in five are still using disposable takeaway cups, said manager Jay Patel.

“In the future we’d like to go down this route, but the market is still not ready at the moment. They [BTP] have got so many stores that it might work, especially if they publicise it right.”

Ancoats General Store won the Best Independent Store category at the 2018 Convenience Retail Awards.