03/07/2020 19:04 EST | Updated 03/07/2020 19:59 EST

Tim Hortons Will Not Use Paper Cups For Roll Up The Rim Amid Coronavirus

The company's swapping paper tabs for a safer digital alternative.

Diane Labombarbe via Getty Images
Tim Hortons paper cups featuring the Roll Up The Rim contest.

As its popular national contest rolls up while Canada is battling a growing number of coronavirus cases, Tim Horton’s has decided not to distribute any more of their special Roll Up The Rim paper cups for the sake of public health.

The company announced the move on Saturday, pointing out that it probably isn’t the best time for over 100,000 of their staff to be handling paper tabs that people roll out with their teeth or hands.

But the contest will go on. Instead of paper tabs, the company said prizes will be redistributed to restaurant giveaways and a digital contest through its app or Roll Up The Rim website.

Cash registers at the coffee-chain will be reprogrammed to randomly select winners for free coffee and other hot beverages. The company will give away $14 million in free drinks, which they say means 1 in 9 people are likely to win.

Watch: Tim Hortons Announces Changes To Roll Up The Rim Contest. Story continues below.

But what about the big prizes? Digital “rolls” will be granted through the company’s app.

The move comes after Tims followed McDonald’s and Starbucks in deciding to stop accepting reusable cups because of the virus. Tims had planned to give away 1.8 million reusable cups as part of Roll Up the Rim this year, as the company was trying to make a “strong push on sustainability and reusability” this year.

Four provinces have reported cases for COVID-19 and Canada has about 57 cases. No deaths have been reported yet.

The Public Health Agency of Canada still puts the risk of contracting the virus as low, although Ontario and British Columbia have reported an increased number of cases in the past week.

In a previous press release, Tim Hortons said health officials hadn’t recommended any changes, but the company still decided to put a pause on reusable cups.