Customers at Starbucks may soon be able to ‘borrow’ a cup for $ 1 instead of drinking their drinks in a one-way container.
The ‘Borrow A Cup’ trial will only take place in five stores in the Seattle area through May 31, but could be rolled out elsewhere if successful.
The company says the reusable cups are the latest strategy in Starbucks stated goal of reducing waste by 50 percent by 2030.
In the test program, customers have the option to order their drinks (hot or cold) in a reusable cup. When they do, they write down what the company calls a $ 1 security deposit.
Starbucks launches new pilot program for reusable cups in Seattle (photo file)
A customer can then return the cup to Starbucks, which will use an outside company that collects used cups every day and “professionally cleans and sanitizes them with commercial dishwashing equipment.”
The cups will then go back into circulation within 48 hours, Starbucks said.
If the customer decides to return their cup to Starbucks, they will receive a $ 1 credit in their Starbucks Rewards account, in addition to 10 bonus stars that can be applied to items such as free drinks.
Each reusable cup, which is made of lightweight polypropylene plastic, would replace 30 disposable cups.
According to Starbucks, the cups are the same material currently used for cold cups, as are lids for both cold and hot cups. It is recyclable in most cities and does not contain BPA.
The program is optional and customers are given the option to order traditional drinks.
“We understand the interdependence of human and planetary health, and we believe it is our responsibility to reduce the waste from single-use cups,” said Michael Kobori, Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer.
Starbucks has partnered with GO Box to professionally sanitize and clean the cups, an important part of the program, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
GO Box collects cups daily from Starbucks, cleans and sanitizes them with commercial dishwashing equipment, and has them ready for retail use within 48 hours.
They also partner with Ridwell, which offers to collect the reusable cups from the front doors of people’s homes.
Starbucks will evaluate customer feedback as they look at “scalable options to reduce waste from single-use cups,” the company told DailyMail.com.
Starbucks is leading a greater effort to try to make their business and the world more sustainable.
The reusable cups are available for a $ 1 refundable deposit at select stores and are professionally cleaned after use and cleaned after use (stock)
Since the 1980s, they’ve let people bring their own cup at a discount, although that program is currently suspended.
Starbucks Korea also just announced their plan to remove disposable cups from South Korean stores by 2025.
It will be the first major market to test the complete elimination of single-use cups from Starbucks stores.
Market overview reports that the reusable cup program will begin in that country in July.
Reusable cups have also been previously launched in the UK, with those cups made from six single-use paper cups.
Starbucks has also turned many of their ice cold drinks into sip cups, potentially eliminating the need for plastic straws, although they are still available at locations.
According to data from the Clean Water Fund, 120 billion disposable coffee cups are used every year in the United States.
Starbucks is no stranger to generating controversy with their cups around the holidays, but the idea of testing reusable cups is definitely provoking mixed reactions on social media.
One Twitter user thought it doesn’t go far enough: ‘I love this idea, things need to change! But @Starbucks also needs to tell their employees to stop asking customers if they want a straw with their cold cup lids! ‘
Dr. Vickie Carey meanwhile tweeted, “I’m not a fan of Starbucks, but it seems to me, if they want to reduce waste; just let people bring and charge their own cups per oz. suitable for different sizes. ‘
Others fail to see the logic of rolling out this experiment during a global pandemic.
“Free Covid at select Seattle locations,” one user tweeted.