Starbucks Looking to Ditch Disposable Cups

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Starbucks Looking to Ditch Disposable Cups
17 Mar 2022
7 min read

News Synopsis

Starbucks announced that it is trying to work away from disposable paper and plastic cups to provide customers with reusable cups within three years. This is Starbucks' latest effort as Starbucks strives to meet the company's waste reduction targets by 2030 and address customer sustainability concerns.

The coffee giant is currently testing new ways to get more customers to use reusable cups instead. It aims to have more people either bring their own cups and mugs or take part in a program called ‘Borrow A Cup.’

Under this program, customers can get their drinks in reusable cups that they borrow from a store location. Once they are finished they can return the cup and it will be cleaned and used again.

Starbucks has some details to determine if incentives such as discounts for using reusable cups or disincentives such as charges for using disposable cups affect customer preferences, which can sway customers away. It is still experimenting with the new business model in several markets to be more specific.

The company said in 2020 that it intended to cut half of its waste by 2030 and has claimed to phase out the single-use plastic straws. The single-use cups and lids make up to 40% of the company’s packaging waste and 20% of its global waste.

By the end of 2023, customers will be able to use personal mugs for in-store, drive-through, and mobile orders, the company said. In  2020, about 1.3% of Starbucks beverages were sold in customers' personal reusable cups, Lagesse said. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the company stopped using them between March 2020 and June 2021. Starbucks offers a $0.10 discount to customers who bring reusable cups.

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