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Coffee concern – disposable cups and lids are in short supply

Newswatch 16's Elizabeth Worthington shows us how the shortages are impacting one shop in Luzerne County and your daily cup of Joe.

LUZERNE, Pa. — For almost a decade, a cup of coffee at The Main Bean in Luzerne would cost you the same price. And owner Jim Lane would never tell you, you couldn't have something off the menu.

"I take pride in the fact that when you walk in, I don't say, 'Oh, I'm out of that. I'm out of that.' And I've had to do that, especially with the cups."

Like many coffee shops across the country, Lane has had a problem keeping a steady supply of disposable coffee cups and lids since soon after the start of the pandemic.

And even when he can find some, he has to shell out more cash – a case that used to cost him $40 now runs him almost $140.

"It's gotten worse. The prices are just going through the roof. The biggest is anything plastic – plastic containers, plastic lids, plastic cups. And then it got to a point where we were out. We were out of 20-ounce cups for a month and a half. Nobody had them," Lane said.

Lane used to rely on just one supplier. Now, he'll go wherever he can get his hands on a case of cups or lids.

"It's just hit or miss. If you're the lucky one, that happens to be there when they come in."

Lane had to raise the prices of his drinks by about 25 cents.

He's trying to hold off on raising them again, but he says soon enough, "something's gotta give."

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