Is Pret A Manger about to stop selling plastic water bottles?

Read Time:   |  11th October 2017

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Pret A Manger is taking its green credentials one step further as they explore the possibility of ditching plastic bottles from stores… 

Pret A Manger has been leading the way when it comes to getting more vegan options onto the high street as they have launched not one, not two but three dedicated veggie stores this year. They also expanded their vegetarian and vegan offerings in stores across the country by introducing dedicated veggie fridges.

Now the chain is taking their green credentials one step further as they explore the possibility of ditching plastic bottles from stores in favour of more environmentally friendly alternatives.

The problem with plastic bottles

Writing on his blog, CEO Clive Schlee wrote:

“Plastic bottles are a problem. We all feel it even before we hear the shocking statistics about millions of tonnes ending up in our oceans each year and imagine the devastating impact this has on marine wildlife.

Pret has always tried to lead on food waste – we’ve been donating our unsold food to the homeless every night since our first shop opened more than 30 years ago. We are making inroads on the problem of packaging waste by reducing where we can and making more of it recyclable. This includes working to find a solution to the fiendish coffee cup problem. We recognise we have lots to do.”

Customers can fill their bottles for free

Schlee believes that: “Plastic bottles present a real challenge and there are two schools of thought within Pret. The passionate environmentalists say stop selling them altogether, while the pragmatists say make it as easy as you can for customers to use fewer plastic bottles. We are looking carefully at both options. I tend towards the pragmatist end myself.

Starting today, all three Veggie Pret shops (extending to their Manchester shops by the end of the month) will be encouraging customers to fill up their bottles for free using new filtered water stations in stores.

Schlee also says that these shops will be selling two sizes of reusable glass bottles alongside their regular water bottles to make the choice clear to consumers that glass is the better option. Pret’s aim with this plan is to understand if customers will choose to refill a bottle rather than buying a new plastic one.

Have you or would you make the switch to a reusable bottle? Is there still a place for plastic bottles or can we do without them entirely?

Tweet your feedback to Clive Schlee here.

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