HomeNews & LifestyleNewsStarbucks looks to phase out disposable cups with reusable mugs, borrow-a-cup programs

Starbucks looks to phase out disposable cups with reusable mugs, borrow-a-cup programs

Starbucks is reportedly hoping to phase out their iconic cups with replacements like reusable mugs and a borrow-a-cup program.

While their cups may be easily recognizable, from the holiday designs to the clear cold drink plastic cups, but the company is hoping to move toward a more sustainable solution.

“Our cup is ubiquitous, and we love that,” Starbucks chief sustainability officer Michael Kobori says, according to CNN Business. “But it is also this ubiquitous symbol of a throwaway society.” He then goes on to say that the best solution is “eliminating the disposable cup.”

By 2025, Starbucks wants every customer to be able to easily use their own mug, or to be able to borrow a ceramic or reusable to-go mug. Part of that process could involve new borrow-a-mug programs that require a deposit. This would see customers paying a deposit for a durable cup that they take with them and then return after use. Vice President of Product Experience Amelia Landers says she can see that program being more successful than other sustainability efforts.

More about Starbucks’ borrow-a-cup program:

“I think that will take the lead,” Landers explains. “We are testing a number of different [borrow-a-cup] programs around the globe.”

In fact, Starbucks tested a beta version of the borrow-a-cup program last year. For the test, customers paid a $1 deposit and then had to return the cup to a smart bin at the location to get their dollar back. Additionally, customers would earn rewards for using a reusable mug.

“We developed a new cup that had a very low environmental footprint, was lightweight polypropylene, ultimately recyclable and could replace 100 single-use disposable cups,” Landers adds.

By the end of next year, Starbucks plans to let customer use their own personal mugs. This will be available at every location in the United States and Canada, even if a customer orders ahead or uses the drive-thru.

The goals may not mean that Starbucks will get rid of their paper and plastic cups, but they hope to encourage customers to stop using them.

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