It’s been a few weeks of big changes for sustainability in the past few weeks.

Plastic bottles are a problem. But what could Pret do about it?

That’s the question Pre’s CEO asked on his blog: What if Pret stopped selling plastic water bottles?

Pret has always tried to lead on food waste – since donating unsold food to the homeless every night since their first shop opened.

Since 2017, all the Veggie Pret and Manchester shops have been equipped with fill up their bottles for free using new filtered water stations. Most shops started selling reusable plastic bottles alongside regular water bottles, but that was still not enough.

The story goes that the founders of Chilly’s saw the blog post and emailed him their own question in return – what if Pret sold reusable bottles?

Fruit-decorated bottles are now sold in selected London branches before being rolled out later this year. Customers will be able to refill their bottles at filtered water stations in Pret, or with tap water.  Chilly’s Bottles claim “double wall vacuum insulation” technology keeps water cool for up to 24 hours and hot drinks warm for about 12 hours.

Pret CEO, Clive Schlee, said: “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.”

Waitrose’s answer to the disposable cup epidemy

Credits: Waitrose

Over 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away annually in the UK, almost none of which are recycled because of their plastic lining. Since January Starbucks started charging 5p for disposable coffee cups (now rolled out all across London), but UK supermarket Waitrose is going one step forward.

Waitrose will stop using disposable coffee cups in a move the supermarket (all disposable cups will be removed by the autumn) – this will save 52 million cups a year.

Head of sustainability Tor Harris said: “We realise this is a major change, but we … are confident the majority of customers will support the environmental benefits.”

Waitrose said the decision underlined its commitment to plastic and packaging reduction.