Starbucks Updates ‘Bring Your Own Cup’ Policy
Starbucks announced that customers, whether walking into a store or driving up, can now bring their reusable cups to their locations in the US and Canada. According to the company, this move positions Starbucks as the first national coffee retailer to extend this option for both drive-thru and mobile orders.
While customers have been able to use reusable cups at select Starbucks locations for years, a pause in this practice occurred between 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s notable now is the expansion of this policy to include clean, refillable cups at the drive-thru window of all company-operated and participating licensed stores in the US and Canada. This builds upon a policy already in place at specific locations. As an incentive, customers receive a $0.10 discount on their drink for utilizing a personal cup, with Starbucks Rewards members also earning 25 bonus stars.
“This is part of a larger cultural movement the company is leading to shift toward reusables and away from single-use plastics, making it convenient for customers to use their own personal cup for every visit,” stated Starbucks in a press release. The company, which consumes approximately 6 billion cups annually, aims to address environmental concerns associated with the 600 billion paper and plastic cups produced globally each year, the majority of which end up as waste.
At the drive-thru, customers can inform the barista about their reusable cups when placing their order. For mobile app orders using a reusable cup, customers can select “customization” and then choose “personal cup” before proceeding with their order. Upon entering the store, customers relay their orders to the barista in the pickup area and provide their cups.
Starbucks locations in South Korea have committed to abandoning disposable cups by 2025. The company has set global goals to reduce waste and carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent by 2030, as outlined in the news release.