Discount for bringing own cup to Starbucks


The international coffee shop chain Starbucks will start giving customers a discount if they bring their own cups. The discount is part of a two-month trial in cafes in England. Starbucks said it wants to reduce the amount of waste and recycle more. The vice president of Starbucks UK said: „Starbucks is committed to increasing recycling rates and reusable cups are a key part of our waste reduction strategy.” Bosses will look at the success of the trial and then decide if they will continue it. The company wants to cut down on the huge number of paper cups that are put in the trash. Customers who bring their own mugs will get a discount on all drinks, except for the cafe’s cheaper filter coffee. The issue of disposable paper cups has been in the news in England a lot recently. Around 2.5 billion of them are thrown away every year – that’s about seven million cups every day. Journalists have said that some coffee chains lie about how many paper cups they recycle. The journalists say the companies do not recycle as many cups as they say they do. This means customers wrongly believe that a coffee shop is environmentally friendly. A recycling service in the UK said that fewer than one in 400 paper cups at coffee shop chains are recycled. One coffee drinker said she would now bring her own cup. She said: „I am disappointed that cafes recycle so little. I thought they were more responsible.”


Exercise 1

Match these Polish words to their English equivalents:

1. rabat
2. sieć
3. próba
4. ilość
5. kluczowy
6. śmieci
7. kwestia
8. jednorazowy
9. rozczarowany
10. odpowiedzialny

  • amount
  • chain
  • disappointed
  • discount
  • disposable
  • issue
  • key
  • responsible
  • trash
  • trial

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with the words from the exercise above:

1. Do you ever use _____________ cups and plates when you organize a party?
2. We were rather _____________ by their reaction to our offer.
3. Who is _____________ for cooperation with foreign subsidiaries?
4. Terrorism is probably the most important global _____________ nowadays.
5. Before I got a full-time contract I had a 3-month _____________ period.
6. Being detail-oriented is one of the _____________ skills required in this job.
7. Because we are a very loyal customer they often offer us a _____________.
8. After I came back from holiday I can’t cope with the _____________ of work I have.
9. My boss wasn’t satisfied with my last report so it ended up in _____________.
10. I don’t like buying clothes in _____________ stores – they all look similar.


I know English idioms!

In this lesson’s text, we could read about cups of Starbucks’ coffee and their recycling. While cups of coffee are not represented in idiomatic English, cups of tea are! Because, when we want to say that something is not what we like or feel good at, we can say: “It’s not my cup of tea!” For example:

  • I tried investing at the stock exchange, but it’s not really my cup of tea…


Phrasals, phrasals…

The company wants to cut down on the huge number of paper cups that are put in the trash. That’s what reads one of the sentences from our text. It uses a phrasal verb: “to cut down on”, which means “to reduce” or “to limit” something. Here are the most popular contexts we use it in:

  • I’m trying to cut down on the number of cigarettes I smoke a day.
  • She used to work 50 hours a week, but has recently cut down on it.
  • Is there something you should cut down on? 


Grammar corner

Let’s study this fragment from the text: “(…) Starbucks will start giving customers a discount if they bring their own cups.” The structure used in the sentence is a conditional clause, so called type 1 – when we speak about a realistic situation. It is usually composed of “will” + infinitive and present simple verb after “if”.


Using the pattern above complete these sentences:

1) If I (have) _______________ time this afternoon, I (study) _______________ English.
2) If she (get) _______________ a big bonus, she (buy) _______________ a new car.
3) If the weather (improve) ____________, I (go) ____________ away for the weekend.
4) I (tell) __________ you about it if you (promise) __________ not to tell anyone else.
5) I (be) _______________ happy, if I (finish) _______________ work earlier today.


discount – rabat
cup – kubek (papierowy)
chain – sieć (sklepów)
trial – próba
to reduce – zmniejszyć
amount – ilość
waste – śmieci, odpady
to recycle – powtórnie przetwarzać
to be committed – być zobowiązanym
to increase – zwiększyć
reusable – do ponownego użytku
key part – kluczowa część
to cut down on – zmniejszyć
huge – olbrzymi
trash – śmieci
mug – kubek (np. ceramiczny)
except for – z wyjątkiem
issue – kwestia, problem
disposable – jednorazowy
to be in the news – być “na językach”
to throw away – wyrzucać
to lie – kłamać
environmentally friendly – przyjazny środowisku
disappointed – rozczarowany
responsible – odpowiedzialny


download lesson (pdf)


Ex. 1
1. discount
2. chain
3. trial
4. amount
5. key
6. trash
7. issue
8. disposable
9. disappointed
10. responsible
1. disposable
2. disappointed
3. responsible
4. issue
5. trial
6. key
7. discount
8. amount
9. trash
10. chain
Ex. Grammar corner
1. have / will study
2. gets / will buy
3. improves / will go
4. will tell / promise
5. will be / finish