Starbucks is going sustainable by testing out a reusable cup program

It's all in an effort for a greener planet

starbucks
(Image credit: Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Starbucks is looking out for the environment. Your impending Strawberry Acai Refresher and Nitro Coldbrew orders could soon look a little different thanks to the company's reusable cup program. 

Currently, the coffee brand is testing out a borrow-and-return initiative at five locations throughout the Seattle area. One cup is said to replace the use of 30 dispensable cups, so this is certainly a good step towards reducing waste by 50% by 2030 (which is part of the company's Greener Cup timeline).

“We understand the interdependency of human and planetary health, and we believe it is our responsibility to reduce single-use cup waste," chief sustainability office Michael Kobori said in a statement. "We will lead the transition to a circular economy.”

Nothing wrong with a cup of tea or coffee that tastes good and does good, right? We are all for this mission. 

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How does it work?

Participating Starbucks cafés and drive-thrus will give customers the option to receive hot or cold beverages in a reusable cup whether they're placing an order in-person or through a mobile app. There is a  $1 refundable deposit for the cup.

Once customers have finished up their treats, they'll snag a $1 credit and 10 Bonus Stars after they scan their cup at a contactless return kiosk. Or, they can turn to Starbucks' partner, Ridwell, for a pick-up service. 

How are the cups cleaned?

Naturally, there is a plan in place. Starbucks partnered with GO Box, a reuse system operator and service provider, to ensure that all cups are cleaned and sanitized. 

No time like the present to give this a try. (Earth Day is a few weeks away, after all.) As the Starbucks team encourages, "Order, sip, return, repeat!"

Danielle Valente
Danielle Valente

Danielle is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. When she's not working, you can find her experimenting with new recipes or sitting on the couch with a good book and a cup of coffee.