Starbucks will once again allow customers to bring their own reusable cups starting June 22, but with new contactless handling measures in place, the Seattle-based coffee chain said Tuesday.
Starbucks had long allowed customers to have their own cups filled, and receive a 10-cent discount, as part of the company’s drive to reduce single-use cups and encourage environmental conscientiousness, until the practice was discontinued with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.
Only clean cups will be accepted at Starbucks locations. According to the new procedures, customers will place their cup — which a barista verifies is clean — in a ceramic mug. The barista then handles that mug, but not the guest’s cup, as they make the drink and hand it back to the customer. The process can be seen here.
The reusable-cup option is not yet available via drive-thru, although Starbucks said it is testing safe options for allowing that as well.
The new procedures have already been tested in Starbucks’ Middle East and Asia Pacific locations.
Starbucks is also bringing back its For Here Ware — reusable cups and utensils for on-premises consumption.
Both the bring-your-own-cup and For Here Ware options had been available at Starbucks since the 1980s until the pandemic.
Starbucks said the return of reusable cups is part of its commitment to reduce the use of single-use cups by 50% by 2030.
During the pandemic, Starbucks has experimented with other waste-reducing measures, including testing a “Borrow a Cup” program at Seattle locations that allowed customers to pay an extra $1 for a drink with a reusable cup and then, upon returning the cup, getting their $1 as a Starbucks credit plus 10 bonus stars on their rewards account.
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