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Delays in shipping, shortage of materials leading to less plastic cups across Northeast Ohio

Delays in shipping, shortage of materials leading to less plastic cups
Posted at 9:30 AM, Sep 23, 2021

CLEVELAND — Businesses all over Northeast Ohio have been dealing with hardships the past 18 months in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But a disruption in the shipping and supply chains could impact you - the retailer.

Phoenix Coffee, the state's only employee-owned cooperative coffee company, is trying to mitigate the issue.

The company's co-president and director of coffee, Christopher Feran, said they've been experiencing a shortage of plastic cups—the cups used for many iced drinks.

“It’s a lot of factors related to the shipping disruptions because of COVID as well as a shortage of the actual material used to produce those cups," Feran said.

Feran said the decline in supply is forcing their company to improvise — and get creative— at their five coffee shops around Cleveland.

“When we’ve been able to find the cups, we’ve stockpiled them in order to have some on hand to mitigate supply disruptions from our supplier," he said.

Feran believes Phoenix Coffee may have to look into more alternative options - helping their company in the long run.

“Using more carryout or to-go cups like reusable ones," Feran said.

On top of a plastic cup shortage, coffee bean prices are the highest they’ve been in four years.

While Feran said they’ve been able to navigate the price hike so far, they’re preparing for higher costs in 2022 and 2023.

“I’m expecting prices on our end will increase 15 to 20%," he said. “But we don’t expect to pass that to retail customers.“