A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year.

The subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc. will instead provide customers with a cup sleeve, a thick paper material that protects hands from hot beverages.

“Sleeves are a great alternative,” said Hope Bagozzi, chief marketing officer at Tim Hortons. “They keep your hands cool but they’re just better for the environment.”

She said cup sleeves will be used by default for hot beverages like tea and espresso and can be requested for other warm drinks.

Customers who ask for a beverage to be double cupped will now be asked to consider using a sleeve instead.

“We’re hoping the majority of guests will be OK with that,” Bagozzi said. “But it obviously won’t transform overnight. If a guest insists on itand it’s going to become an altercation, I don’t want a team member to be put in that position.”

Public reaction on social media was mixed, with some wondering why double cupping wasn’t ended a decade ago while others decried the change and suggested double cupping was necessary for hot tea.

The company expects that stopping the practice of double cupping will save roughly 200 million cups from being tossed in the garbage every year.

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining inside.

But Bagozzi said the company is trying to change that, and is in talks with suppliers about recyclable and biodegradable cups.

She said the challenge is to ensure the cup maintains its structural integrity.

“We want to be sure that they are safe and they don’t crumble,” Bagozzi said. “They’ve come a long way and we’re very bullish with our partners about leading the way in innovation there.”

She said Tim Hortons has two pilot programs coming soon, one that will test a cup with a compostable liner and another made with 35 per cent recycled materials.

“As the biggest market leader when it comes to coffee and hot beverages in Canada, it’s part of our responsibility to look at our footprint and our sustainability,” said Bagozzi. “The notion of double cupping is a big deal and it catches attention but it’s just one of many things that we’re working on.”

ALSO READ: Four Canadian privacy watchdogs launch probe into Tim Hortons app

The end of double cupping is part of a suite of changes the coffee and doughnut chain is announcing as part of waste reduction week.

In a bid to improve its environmental footprint, Tim Hortons said on Tuesday it would soon roll out new recyclable paper-based wrappers for sandwiches and bagels, eliminating of about 460 tonnes of plastic from the waste stream each year.

On Monday, the fast food chain said it plans to introduce new paper napkins that use 25 per cent less material and are made up of 100 per cent recycled fibre. The change in early 2021 is expected to save 900 tonnes of paper a year.

Tim Hortons is also phasing out plastic straws from its 4,000 restaurants across Canada.

The restaurant said last week the transition to paper straws is expected to be completed by early next year, eliminating roughly 300 million plastic straws a year.

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

coffeeTim Hortons

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Revelstoke City Hall. (File)
Revelstoke COVID-19 cases spike to 46

Mayor Gary Sulz expects positive cases to increase

Slocan Valley communities struggling with the need for high-speed internet should consider Kaslo’s model, according to the Kaslo infoNet Society. Photo: Black Press
Follow Kaslo’s lead for fibre service, says proponent

Tim Ryan of Kaslo infoNet Society says bringing high-speed internet to rural homes is possible

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Interior Health said its new toll-free line will help people connect to health-care services. (File)
Interior Health expands toll-free line to improve access to community care

By calling1-800-707-8550, people can be connected to several health-care services

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read