Starbucks reintroduces reusable cups to stores

Starbucks introduced strawless lids on select beverages

Having reopened stores under Government guidance, Starbucks is enabling the use of reusable cups in a safe method. No shared touchpoints are in place between customer and barista, with a ceramic mug used to transport a reusable cup through the bar and to the customer.

The procedure will be introduced across all stores and Starbucks will continue to offer the 25p discount to customers who bring in a reusable cup.

In early March, Starbucks staff in the UK implemented the same precautions that were introduced in the US and Canada, banning customers from using personal reusable cups. The ban had been issued in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for the company told the Independent that the company was “pausing the use of personal cups or tumblers in our stores across the UK”. Starbucks’ executive vice president and president of US and Canada operations Rossann Williams penned an open letter to stakeholders to explain the decision.

Closed-loop commitment

Reusable cups build on Starbucks’ commitment to reducing the waste produced through its beverage offerings. At the time of the ban on reusables, Starbucks trialled compostable paper cups across select stores in San Francisco, London, Seattle, New York and Vancouver. It builds on an overall ambition to develop a 100% compostable and recyclable coffee cup solution by 2022.

Last month, Starbucks introduced strawless lids on select beverages, in a move that is set to save 40 million plastics straws from being used across the EMEA markets.

Starbucks is a founding member of the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge. Through the consortium, Starbucks and McDonald’s are aiming to develop a global solution that stops plastic-lined paper coffee cups being sent to landfill, by either giving them a second life as another cup or other recycled content. Successful innovations are now being released onto the North American market.

Starbucks is supporting CupClub, which offers a tailored end-to-end service helping to reduce single-use plastic packaging by around 40% by introducing cup drop off points for the system in cities.

Matt Mace

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