Starbucks Advances Plans to Eliminate Single Use Cups
Starbucks announced new plans to provide its customers globally with reusable cup options, as the coffee retail giant advances on its waste reduction initiatives to eliminate single-use cups.
The new plans were announced along with a series of sustainability-focused initiatives ahead of Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting today, advancing the company’s progress towards its sustainability goals. Starbucks has committed to become a “resource positive” company, following strategies that include shifting away from single-use packaging, investing in regenerative agricultural practices, forest restoration, and water replenishment, promoting recycling and reuse of waste, and expanding plant-based menu options, among others. The company has set a series of 2030 sustainability targets under its resource positive strategy, including reducing operational and supply chain emissions by 50%, conservation or replenishment of 50% of water withdrawal for direct operations and coffee production, and a 50% reduction in waste sent to landfill from stores and manufacturing.
Starbucks President and CEO, Kevin Johnson said:
“We have a bold long-term sustainability vision and ambitious goals for 2030. Starbucks partners around the world are passionate about protecting our planet and are at the very center of driving the innovation that enables us to give more than we take from the planet.”
The new initiatives follow the announcement by Starbucks earlier this month of its first 100% reusable cup store at its SODO 8 Starbucks café located in its Seattle office, and the launch last year of the Borrow-a-Cup initiative at several Seattle-area test stores, enabling customers to order a beverage in a reusable cup, pay a $1 deposit, and then scan and return the cup at a return kiosk to receive the $1 credit in return. The company is now testing multiple Borrow-A-Cup and reusable operating models several markets around the world, including the US, UK, Japan, and Singapore, with plans to add additional countries in the year ahead.
Starbucks said that it aims to enable customers in the U.S. and Canada to use personal reusable cups for every visit, including café, drive-thru and mobile order and pay, and has set a 2025 goal for customers globally to have access to a reusable cup option for every visit.
Additional initiatives announced by the company include the launch of a new Partner Waste and Recycling App, designed to help partners navigate complex and unique store recycling guidelines, and a new pilot program with Volvo Cars to electrify driving route from Denver to the Starbucks Seattle headquarters, beginning with the installation of EV chargers at 15 Starbucks stores along the route.
Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer, Michael Kobori said:
“Starbucks is spending this year testing innovative new ways to reduce waste and reduce our carbon footprint. Some of our best innovations, like the Waste and Recycling App, come directly from our store partners. Our store partners know their customers and communities best. When we work together with our partners, we find better solutions to create a more sustainable future for our planet and people.”