We're Trialling a 25¢ Surcharge on Paper Cups to Reduce Waste
We’ve lowered the price of hot drink prices by 25¢ in UBC Food Service cafes to show the price customers will pay if they bring their own reusable cup. Single-use cups will cost an additional 25¢.
This change does not create additional cost for customers. Evidence from other universities shows that charging for disposables is an effective method of reducing waste.
Single-use cups are thrown out by Canadians each year.
Why Are We Doing This?
UBCO Food Services is self-operated by UBC. We are mandated to (and take great passion in) doing all that we can to contribute to UBC’s sustainability goals, including waste reduction. This research-based decision was supported by the following partnerships:
Greenest City Action Plan
In 2010, the University of British Columbia partnered with the City of Vancouver to advance sustainability and climate action goals through the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.
Single use coffee cups are a global problem. Canadians use an estimated 1.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year, equivalent to more than half a million trees. In Vancouver, we use 2.6 million disposable cups every week.
They are notoriously difficult to recycle. UBC’s compostable cup, plastic lid and paper sleeve must be placed in multiple sorting stations, something that rarely happens. Coffee cups are lined with plastic (polyethylene), making them waterproof but also difficult to recycle. The plastic lids are choking landfills and waterways and causing devastation in oceans. Disposable cups, lids and sleeves make up almost 50 per cent by volume of the material collected in street trash cans.
This initiative means customers will experience the bite of paying 25¢ for their single-use paper cup and will hopefully be encouraged to switch to reusable mugs. By separating out the cost of the coffee from the cup, UBC Food Services is taking another step on the path to becoming a truly zero waste sustainable campus community.
What You Can Do
Bring your own reusable cup or mug, or choose locations that provide reusable versions.
Bring Your Own
Invest in a reusable mug. Remember your cup when you’re walking out the door & keep disposable cups out of landfills.
If you have the option of using a provided resuable cup, go for it! Don’t request a take out coffee, drink it nearby, and then toss it.
What do you think?
If you’ve dined recently at UBC, we want to hear from you! Your feedback helps us to provide the best possible experience.