On Wednesday, January 3, 2024, Starbucks became the first national coffee retailer in the US to accept reusable cups for all orders, including drive-thru and mobile orders. This includes orders for all drinks and all sizes, and “any clean, personal cup” works.
Until now, Starbucks in the US was only accepting reusable cups for in-person orders made in its cafes. The move makes it the first national coffeehouse in the US to offer such an option for mobile ordering and the first in Canada to extend it to all beverages.
“Starting January 3, 2024, customers will be able to use their own clean, personal cup for every visit at all company-operated stores and participating licensed stores in the U.S. and Canada – including drive-thru, the Starbucks app, and in café,” Starbucks writes in a press release announcing the move, explaining how it works:
“In drive-thru, while ordering, customers order their beverage as usual, and let the barista know they brought their own cup. At the pickup window, baristas will collect customers’ personal cup without the lid using a contactless vessel to ensure hygiene and safety. The beverage will be returned the same way.”
The company also explains how it works for orders made using the Starbucks app:
“When customers order via the Starbucks app, first they will hit the ‘Customization’ button and then select ‘Personal Cup in the customization menu and continue ordering as normal. When they get to the store, customers connect with their barista at the pickup area, and hand over their clean personal cup without the lid. The barista will hand the beverage back in a contactless vessel.”
Customers at participating stores in the US and Canada who bring any clean, personal cup will receive a $0.10 discount on their beverage. In the US, Starbucks Rewards members will enjoy an additional perk of 25 “Bonus Stars” for choosing the sustainable option.
“With the majority of Starbucks beverages enjoyed on-the-go, this milestone unlocks a big opportunity for customers to choose reusables and supports Starbucks’ commitment to reduce waste by 50 percent by 2030,” the company writes.
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The initiative is part of the coffee giant’s commitment to reduce waste and marks the realization of its 2022 goal to make it easier for customers to use reusable cups.
“At Starbucks, we envision a future where every beverage can be served in a reusable cup. Offering customers more options to use a personal cup when they visit Starbucks marks tangible progress towards the future. ” said Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer at Starbucks.
“We know our customers are passionate about the planet, and now, they can join us in our efforts to give more than we take, no matter how they order,” Kobori added.
Starbucks’ latest initiative sets a new standard in the coffee retail industry. As the first national coffee retailer in the US to embrace reusable cups for drive-thru and mobile orders, Starbucks could (hopefully) encourage other businesses to follow suit.
“As we know, the most sustainable cup is likely the one you already own. Bringing your own cup to stores is a critical step toward reducing single-use packaging waste,” said Managing Director and Head of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, Kate Daly.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — Featured Photo Credit: Hamza Inayat.