Pret A Manger customers will be able to fill up their own water bottles for free after the business introduced filtered water stations in selected outlets.
Starting this week, all three Veggie Pret shops will feature the stations with the trial extending to all Pret’s Manchester shops by the end of October.
The selected shops will also start selling two sizes of reusable glass bottles alongside Pret’s regular water bottles to give customers the option of a more sustainable alternative.
Pret CEO Clive Schlee said the aim of the trial was to understand whether customers will choose to refill a bottle rather than buying a new plastic one.
Writing on Pret’s in-house blog, Schlee conceded that plastic bottles presented a challenge from an environmental perspective. “There are two schools of thought within Pret,” he wrote. “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.”
Schlee added that Pret is also working to find a solution to the problem of coffee cup recycling but admitted the business had “lots to do” in this regard.