Coffee sellers stop accepting reusable cups amid coronavirus


Tim Hortons and McDonald's Canada are the latest coffee purveyors to stop accepting reusable mugs brought in by customers amid concerns about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and plan to reintroduce the policy at a later time,'' wrote McDonald's Canada spokeswoman Veronica Bart in an email.

Tim Hortons said in a statement that it has made the change after listening to its restaurant owners and comments from its customers, even though health officials have not recommended any changes to its current procedures.

The temporary move follows similar decisions by Starbucks and The Second Cup Ltd. announced earlier last week.

All four chains indicated they are taking extra precautionary measures. These include increasing the number of times cafes are cleaned each day, restricting business-related air travel until the end of March, recommending that areas people touch frequently such as kiosks are cleaned more often, and purchasing extra essential cleaning materials that may be needed in the coming months.

Tim Hortons has also put on hold plans it had to give away 1.8 million reusable cups for free as part of its Roll Up the Rim contest this year.

The coffee-and-doughnut chain will delay the distribution of the reusable cups that were planned to be given away next week until later this year.

It will honour the three digital rolls described in its campaign for any customer that brings in a reusable cup during its Roll Up the Rim contest and buys a hot beverage scanning their Tims Rewards card or app, however the drink will be provided in a single-use cup.

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