Starbucks Trials Letting Customers ‘Borrow’ Reusable Cups For Earth Month

Image via Grand Warszawski /

Like many other cafés worldwide, Starbucks had stopped allowing customers to bring in their own reusable cups when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, as the pandemic eases up, the coffee chain is looking to trial an eco-friendly solution this Earth Month.

From now till May 31, five Seattle stores will pioneer the ‘Borrow A Cup’ campaign, allowing customers to order their beverages in a reusable cup for a US$1 deposit.

Customers can then return their cup at participating stores’ kiosks, or via an at-home service named Ridwell, to get their refund of US$1 and earn 10 rewards points through Starbucks’ loyalty rewards program.

As these cups are reusable, they will be professional cleaned and sterilized for the next user. According to USA Today, Starbucks has said that each borrowed cup will replace up to 30 disposable cups. This new initiative is part of the company’s plans to reduce its waste by 50% by 2030.

If the “Borrow A Cup” trial is successful, it could be expanded to more stores. Starbucks plans to “learn from, adapt and scale based on our learnings” of the trial, it told USA Today.

This is not the first time the global coffee giant is embarking on such a green initiative. In 2019, its UK operations collaborated with environmental nonprofit Hubbub to install a reusable cup system at London’s Gatwick Airport.

[via USA Today, cover image via Grand Warszawski /]

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