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For drive-thru and mobile orders, Starbucks will accept reusable cups.

Starbucks said it will allow customers to use their own cups for all trips, including drive-thrus and mobile orders, in an effort to reduce the amount of disposable cup waste that ends up in landfills. This new process will start on Wednesday at participating licenced stores in the US and Canada. “As most Starbucks patrons enjoy their beverages on the go, this milestone opens a significant opportunity for customers to choose reusable items and supports Starbucks’ commitment to reduce waste by 50% by 2030,” reads a press release from the Seattle-based company. Through this initiative, a major coffee shop becomes the first to provide customers ordering with a mobile device with a personalised cup.

Starbucks: Personal Cup Rewards and Discounts

Additionally, there is a financial incentive: American Starbucks Rewards members can earn 25 additional stars, and customers can receive 10% off their drink when they show a sanitised, personal cup. When placing an order within the café, customers only need to inform the barista and hand over their own cup. When customers use the drive-thru, they alert the barista to their order, and the barista fills and receives the cup at the pickup window. When placing an in-app order, users click the “customisation” button, select “personal cup,” and then continue with regular orders. As soon as they enter the café, patrons hand over their cup to the barista at the pick-up station.

Starbucks Expands Programme for Reusable Cups in the United States and Canada

This most recent project comes after a personal cup was tested in the spring of last year at 200 Colorado drive-thrus. Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Kobori said in a statement that “at Starbucks, we envision a future where every beverage is served in a reusable cup.” “We know our customers care about the planet, and now, they can join us in our efforts to give more than they take, no matter how they order.” Some Starbucks locations had long permitted customers to bring their own reusable cups, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this policy was terminated in 2020 and 2021.

Discussing Starbucks’ Initiative to Cut Down on Throwaway Cup Waste

This measure is believed to reduce the quantity of garbage generated by disposable cups. Still, there is an ongoing online debate concerning the actual environmental impact. Idling while waiting for drive-thru orders during delays causes tailpipe emissions. The company makes about 6 billion cups annually, or 1% of the 600 billion paper and plastic cups produced worldwide each year, the most of which are thrown away as garbage.
Starbucks has long been under pressure from Greenpeace and other environmental groups to discontinue using disposable cups. Some places in South Korea have promised to do so by 2025. Additionally, the campaign promised to “provide simple access to a ‘to-go’ cup that

is reusable by 2025 in coffee shops, drive-thrus, and mobile orders and payments made by Starbucks or authorised outlets in the United States and Canada.” Additionally, it aims to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 from both organic sources and greenhouse gases.
On Reddit, however, users have been debating for years whether or not promoting driving with a reusable cup could result in an increase in exhaust emissions. At the pickup window, baristas had to wait for customers to bring their own cups. “It will be very useful for us to have to wait for you to come to our window to make your drink,” a Reddit user commented in 2022. Numerous significant issues regarding labour procedures, claims of union-busting, and the relationship between the company and union are now plaguing Starbucks.

Starbucks Offers Personal Cups Outside of Stores: Choose Your Own Cup Size to Go Green!

Before, this option could only be used in-store, but as part of Starbucks’ significant effort to reduce waste by 50% by 2030, it is now available online. It’s not required to have a Starbucks-branded cup. The only sizes that are offered are tall, grande, and venti, however you can order any size cup. So, no, they won’t fill your 40-ounce glass with iced coffee. By selecting the “personal cup” option, customers utilising the Starbucks app can now purchase their favourite beverage from the lineup. Partnerships may not always be available at Starbucks locations that hold licences.

Starbucks Takes Green Measures: Accepting Custom Cups and App Reviews

Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Kobori said, “Giving customers more options to use a personal cup at Starbucks marks solid progress towards the future.” “We know our customers care about the planet, and now, they can join us in our efforts to give more than they take, no matter how they order.” There have also been some complaints about the app and digital card programme. According to a complaint filed by the Washington Consumer Protection Alliance, the company “traps customers in a cycle” by putting them in a “Catch-22” situation. The alliance asserted that because of the dynamic reloading and tipping options, customers loaded more money onto their Starbucks cards than was necessary.

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