Image source: Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation (Nasdaq: SBUX) said customers can start using reusable cups again at company-owned cafes in the US later this month, more than a year after pausing the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an announcement Tuesday, the Seattle-based coffee giant said it would reintroduce the service starting June 22 through a “completely contactless” method that eliminates “any shared touch points between the customer and baristas.”
Starbucks, like many companies, ramped up safety protocols at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 — including eliminating the use of reusable cups.
As restrictions continue to ease and the economy reopens, Starbucks is among the many chains in the US to drop mask requirements for fully vaccinated customers.
According to Starbucks, after a barista visually checks the cleanliness of a customer's reusable cup, the customer will place it in a ceramic mug or on a tray. The barista will make the drink while touching only the ceramic mug and never coming into direct contact with the customer's cup.
Reusable cups will not be accepted at drive-thrus, and only clean cups will be accepted in stores, Starbucks said.
On Tuesday, the chain said, “Bringing back personal reusable cups is a key part of Starbucks’ ongoing commitment to reduce single-use cup waste and goal to reduce waste by 50% by 2030.”
As an incentive to help the company reach its goal, Starbucks said it will resume giving a 10-cent discount to customers who use their own cups.
CNBC noted that few customers take advantage of the decades-old promotion and that Starbucks runs through roughly 7 billion disposable cups each year.
The chain is currently testing initiatives to cut down on disposable cup usage, including the launch of a reusable cup program across all stores in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by 2025.
Source: Equities News