The popular U.K. grocery chain, known for dispensing free coffee, will eliminate disposable cups later this year

In a move that has been both praised and criticized, U.K. grocery chain Waitrose—well-known for giving customers a free cup of coffee or tea—has announced that it will stop using disposable cups in all locations by the latter part of 2018. Instead, paying customers will have to bring their own cup and have their myWaitrose loyalty card in order to get a free beverage.

Waitrose claims the move will eliminate as many as 52 million cups from the manufacturing and waste cycle each year. Industry commentators and environmental groups, such as Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG), have praised the decision as a responsible one that reflects today’s environmental concerns. Reaction among customers has been split, with some seeing the decision as a positive one, while others see it primarily as a way for the company to win accolades at the expense of customers’ convenience.

In either case, this decision will have a significant impact on many regular customers. Whether on the commute to or from the office, or on a lunch break, cashing in on a free cup of tea or coffee will require a little more planning.

Waitrose

In a move that has been both praised and criticized, U.K. grocery chain Waitrose—well-known for giving customers a free cup of coffee or tea—has announced that it will stop using disposable cups in all locations by the latter part of 2018. Instead, paying customers will have to bring their own cup and have their myWaitrose loyalty card in order to get a free beverage.

Waitrose claims the move will eliminate as many as 52 million cups from the manufacturing and waste cycle each year. Industry commentators and environmental groups, such as Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG), have praised the decision as a responsible one that reflects today’s environmental concerns. Reaction among customers has been split, with some seeing the decision as a positive one, while others see it primarily as a way for the company to win accolades at the expense of customers’ convenience.