Eariler this year, at the start of Roll Up The Rim season, Canadians were calling out Tim Hortons for not being environmentally friendly. These claims came because the contest causes people who normally use reusable cups to switch back to disposable cups at the chance of winning. More recently, however, some Tim Hortons customers have new claims about their cups. They say that using reusable cups at Tim Hortons is completely useless.
In the past few months, there have been a few cases of Tim Hortons customers on Twitter claiming that when they went to use a reusable cup at Tims, the employees first made their coffee or tea in a disposable cup before pouring it into the customer's reusable cup and then throwing the cup out. If Tims is doing this, it's completely negating any environmental benefit that came from using a reusable cup.
This is made even worse by the fact that in some places those disposable coffee cups can't be recycled, instead, they go straight into the garbage. This is because of the poly-coat lining on the inside of the cups.
Given that the cups aren't even recyclable it seems like there would be extra incentive for people to use the reusable cups but on Twitter, Tims customers are saying that it's useless.
Hey @TimHortons, I just heard that your restaurants have been told to use a new single-use disposable cup to measure out coffee and tea when a customer uses a reusable mug. A NEW CUP EVERY TIME. Is this true? Kind of defeats the purpose for those of us trying to save the planet.— Shauna Harrison (@rtslh) 22 March 2019
Ugh! That’s like Tim Hortons pouring coffee into a paper cup before pouring into your reusable. Like, thaaaanks. That’s totally the point— Joy (@MsJoyF) 21 February 2019
Others have reported this exact same thing happening to them.
At Tim Hortons drive through I order a coffee refill. At the window, the lady takes coffee from a DISPOSABLE cup, pours it into my reusable cup. I asked her if they reused the cup, she shrugged. I asked her if they threw out the cup, she said yes!! #fail #TimHortons #ecofriendly— Patricia Lefebvre (@Patlef) 3 February 2019
If you being a reusable cup to Tim Hortons they will fill a regular cup then pour it into your reusable cup then throw out the cup they used.— Cole (@__snowmexican) 18 January 2019
@TimHortons I went to use my reusable cup at a Tim Hortons yesterday and the person wouldn't take it, said coffee must first go into a disposable cup and then I could pour the coffee in myself. I thought the entire point of having a reusable cup was to NOT produce extra waste.— Mitchell Gauvin (@mitchellvango) 10 January 2019
And Tim Hortons won't allow employees to fill my reusable cup....— Heather Bean (@HeatherBBean) 10 October 2018
Customers have also said that even if the Tim Hortons employees do fill the reusable cup directly they still use a plastic stir-stick, which also creates waste.
*brings reusable cup to Tim Hortons to be environmentally friendly* *employee then stirs my coffee with a PLASTIC STRAW- generating a more environmentally harmful product than the cup I just avoided* pic.twitter.com/zi4fKh5QdD— Shyla Blyde (@BlydeShyla) 8 December 2018
Back in January, Tim Hortons actually responded to one of these complaints from customers. In their Twitter response, they advised the customer to speak to management at their particular Tim Hortons location where the incident took place. This suggests that if there is an issue, it could be at the local level rather than the company as a whole.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We strongly suggest discussing this with the Management of the location in question in their effort to improve their environmental policy.— Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) 10 January 2019
Narcity has reached out to Tim Hortons to confirm their policy on reusable cups and whether these allegations from customers are true. We will update the story accordingly.