Starbucks expands the roll out of its reusable format

Starbucks is expanding its 100% reusable format to 12 stores in Napa and Petaluma, California. That means every beverage made at these stores will be prepared in either a personal cup or in a Starbucks reusable Borrow A Cup that customers can take with them and return in smart return bins. The company’s vision for the future is that every Starbucks beverage could be served in a reusable cup. A future where every time customers visit Starbucks, they can bring their own personal reusable cup, or Starbucks will provide them with a reusable cup. This way it’s easy to reuse wherever they’re enjoying their favorite Starbucks beverage.

How the 100% reusables operating model works:

  • Customers order their drink as usual at a participating Starbucks, in the café, drive-thru or via mobile order and pay.
  • The hot or cold beverage will be served in a personal cup or a ‘borrowed’ cup, which customers can take with them at these 12 stores from 14 August – 22 October.
  • If customers are using a borrowed cup, when done with their beverage, they return the cup by scanning and dropping the cup into a participating store’s contactless return bin. The cup will be professionally washed and sanitised, ready to be used again.
  • Customers who bring their own personal cup will receive the standard benefit of USD $0.10 off and Starbucks Rewards members will receive 25 bonus stars.
  • When customers return their borrowed cup, they will also have the option to register online with TURN to earn points for every Borrow a Cup return and prizes through TURN (a reuse platform designed for scale – through a fully circular system, TURN offers integrated solutions to end single-use plastic).

Why this matters:

  • The company has been testing the 100% reusables model in several markets including three cities in the US (including the Starbucks café located in Starbucks headquarters in Seattle), as well as globally in Japan, Singapore, London, and South Korea since 2021.
  • After a successful 3-month test, now customers can bring their personal cup through drive-thru going forward at 192 stores across Colorado.
  • In support of the company’s goal to reduce waste by 50 percent by 2030, Starbucks is shifting away from single-use plastics, championing the use of recycled content, and promoting reusability, driven by a broader shift towards a circular economy.
  • The biggest thing to learn from these tests as the company prepares to bring this model to more stores, is how to offer customers a way to shift away from single use cups toward a reusable to-go-coffee experience, in a way that is convenient, easy, and enjoyable.

Learn more about the test in the 12 Northern California stores in the Starbucks Stories post here and a Google Map of the stores here.

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