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

No face-offs until at least Dec. 8 after the BCHL shuts down pre-sesason play. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Capitals’ exhibition season cut short

BCHL cancels remainder of the pre-season

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

The field at Sherman Road is closed to travelling teams after soccer is shut down due to COVID-19. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Soccer in Cowichan put on hold due to COVID-19

“We have a temporary clarification that we can’t travel to other communities”

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read