Starbucks Partners with Ocean Conservancy to Welcome Reusables Back in Stores

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On June 22, Starbucks introduced a new contactless procedure to allow customers to use their clean, personal reusable cups in-stores. From August 3 – 16, at participating stores, each time a customer orders a beverage to be served in a clean personal reusable cup, Starbucks will donate $1 to Ocean Conservancy to support Ocean Conservancy’s work toward solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

According to Starbucks,  a personal reusable cup can be used at participating stores ordered in-store for any beverage – coffee or handcrafted. Starbucks will donate up to $1 million to Ocean Conservancy.  Excludes mobile order and pay and drive thru.

“Ocean Conservancy is proud to partner with Starbucks as they welcome personal reusable cups back into participating stores. Companies like Starbucks have a major role to play in reducing ocean plastic pollution,” said Edith Cecchini, Project Director, Corporate Strategy and Policy. “Single-use cups and lids are among the most common types of trash found on our beaches. By encouraging customers to bring in their own reusable cups, Starbucks is helping to reduce the amount of waste produced in their stores giving their customers a simple way to help the ocean. Every action makes a difference.”

“Starbucks is pleased to bring back personal reusable cups to help reduce single-use cup waste and to support those customers who bring in their own cups by contributing to the pioneering work of Ocean Conservancy,” said Michael Kobori, Starbucks chief sustainability officer.

At Starbucks, pre-COVID 80% of beverages were enjoyed on the go. However, the company has long been innovating to encourage customers to adopt reusable cups. Earlier this year, Starbucks piloted a Borrow a Cup program in Seattle to test the validity of a small-scale cup share program. Since the 1980’s we have offered the option for customers to enjoy their beverage in For Here Ware or bring in a personal reusable cup for a discount.

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And the company continues to make progress around the world. In June, Starbucks EMEA announced they will offer a reusable cup share program in all Europe, Middle East and Africa stores by 2025. Shortly after in July, Starbucks South Korea launched a Borrow a Cup program in stores and recently committed to eliminating single-use cups by 2025. Starbucks will continue to test and learn from programs geared toward reducing single-use cups, a key part of the company’s ongoing commitment to reducing waste by 50% by 2030.

According to Starbucks, only clean cups will be accepted; Starbucks baristas will not be able to clean cups for customers. The company is currently testing safe options for allowing personal reusable cups via the drive thru and mobile order and pay orders, but for now personal reusable cups will only be accepted when placing an order in stores.


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