Is the Tim Horton coffee chain going all disposable?

Tim Horton's is a big deal north of the border; they sell 80 percent of the coffee in Canada, mostly in paper cups that fill half of the public waste bins in the City of Toronto, which has to deal with 365 million empty cups every year. It's now married to Burger King and owned by a Brazilian company that is famous for cost-cutting. According to the Globe and Mail, they have been " quietly piloting the removal of china cups and plates from a smattering of its cafes, offering only disposable alternatives. It has posted notices in test restaurants to thank “valued guests” for “joining our efforts to reduce water usage and improve our recycling program.”

Tim Hortons on the rocksTim Hortons on the Rocks/ Chaf.Haddad on Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Now first of all, it takes a lot of water to make a paper cup. Secondly, Timmy cups are hard to recycle; they have a plastic liner and a lid that should be removed but often isn't. Their recycling system is terrible and their cups litter gutters and highways all over Canada. I wrote years ago:

TimcupToronto City Life/CC BY 2.0

Perhaps it's time for us to tell Tim Horton's what we think. Perhaps they should provide decent and adequate garbage handling and recycling at all of their stores. Perhaps they should try and cooperate with the City in dealing with their corporate detritus. Perhaps they should put a deposit on every paper cup so that the jerks who throw them onto the ground will be encouraged to bring them back. Perhaps Canadians should buy their coffee somewhere else until they start taking responsibility for the garbage they generate.

Timmy at the beachTimmy at the beach/ Martin Cathrae on Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Or as one complaining Timmy customer tells the Globe: “I’m taking my business exclusively to the funky independent café with the mismatched reusable cups a couple of blocks away.” Good idea.

Tags: Canada | Recycling

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