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Free coffee? Inside the #CarryTheCup coffee pop up

Free coffee. Two words everyone wants to hear. But what’s the catch? There isn’t one, just bring your own cup and delicious, cruelty-free, single-use-plastic-free, coffee is yours. 

Lush and collaborators Change Please are hoping that a cup of joe has the power to do more than power you through your 3pm slump. Open for four weeks from Tuesday, 14th August, the #carrythecup pop-up is a vegan coffee shop with an agenda: to educate people on the impact of single use plastic.

Lush Studio Manager Michael O’Brien explains: “Reducing our reliance on plastic has been at the forefront of Lush’s innovations for the last 23 years. Beyond cosmetics, there are habits we can break and simple changes we can make to reduce or remove single-use plastic from our lives. By transforming our front exhibition space in to a friendly coffee shop, we want to invite London locals and visitors inside for a free cup of coffee (or tea) and an informative discussion on how to ditch the single-use coffee cup, and learn to #carrythecup.”

2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year in the UK, and with less than 1% of them being recycled due to the plastic coatings. That’s a whole lot of unnecessary waste going straight to landfill and contributing to the eight million metric tons of plastic waste that enters our oceans each year. The simple act of swapping your takeaway cup for a reusable one instead could make a big difference to the environment.

Change Please’s founder Cemal Ezel also believes that more needs to be done to address the issue of single use plastics. He says: "Although the cups used by Change Please coffee are 100% compostable and biodegradable in 12 weeks, this does not go far enough to address the problem of single use disposables. We really feel there should be more public awareness of the ease of using a reusable cup and this is a bold statement of the need to make a sustainable difference, now!"

And this isn’t the only way Lush is making a difference to the coffee culture that’s ruining our environment. In 2017, Lush launched the Bath Oil Box, a biodegradable box made from recycled coffee cups. The innovative solution was created in collaboration with James Cropper 3D Products and is now available in Lush shops nationwide and from You can see how they are made here.

The Lush Studio Soho #CarrytheCup pop-up will be open Monday through to Friday (closed at weekends) from 7:30am - 3:30pm until Friday 7th September. You can find it at 67-71 Beak St, Soho, London, W1F 9S.

Coffee pop up lush
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