TORONTO -- Tim Hortons has suspended the use of reusable cups over COVID-19 fears.

Rival chains Starbucks and The Second Cup have also halted the environmentally friendly measure.

“Though health officials have not recommended any changes to current procedures, after listening to our restaurant owners and comments from our guests, we are going to pause on accepting reusable cups at this time,” the coffee chain said in a press release released March 6.

“We are continuing to reinforce proper health and sanitization procedures at restaurants and our supply chain is sourcing extra gloves, hand sanitization gel and other essential cleaning materials should we need them in the coming months.”

The company is also delaying the distribution of 1.8 million reusable cups, planned to be given away on March 10 as prizes in its Roll Up the Rim contest.

“For any guest that brings a reusable cup to our restaurants and purchases a hot beverage scanning their Tims Rewards card or app, we will honour the three digital rolls described in our campaign, however, the guest will be provided their beverage in a recyclable paper cup,” Tim Hortons said.

Meanwhile, Starbucks told The Canadian Press it is ramping up cleaning practices across all stores, modifying or postponing large meetings and training staff on how to respond to suspected cases of the virus.

Second Cup also temporarily halted personalized coffee mugs as of Thursday, the company said. But it will honour its 20 cent discount for customers who bring a reusable mug.

With files from The Canadian Press