Starbucks branches have temporarily banned reusable cups in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The coffee chain said customers would still receive a 25p discount for bringing reusable cups with them, but drinks would be served in paper cups.

Great Western Railway and LNER have banned reusable cups on trains – but GWR scrapped the policy after days.

A hygiene expert said containing the virus should be a “greater priority” than environmental concerns.

It is understood Starbucks made the decision internally, rather than on the advice of health officials.

The coffee chain’s Europe spokesman, Robert Lynch, said: “Out of an abundance of caution, we are pausing the use of personal cups or tumblers in our stores across the UK.

“However, we will continue to honour our 25p discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup.”

He said Starbucks was suspending its 5p charge for customers asking to use a paper cup.

Mr Lynch added the coffee chain – which, in 1998, was the first to offer users a discount for customers with reusable cups – was also introducing “increased cleaning measures” for all in-store crockery such as ceramic mugs and plates.

Starbucks stores in the US have already brought in similar measures.

The coffee chain closed half of its almost 4,300 outlets in China in January to support efforts to contain coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.

Source: BBC News

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