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Starbucks now allows personal cups for all orders, including mobile

This is the first time in the U.S. a national coffeehouse is allowing customers to use personal cups for mobile orders for all drinks and sizes.
Starbucks now allows personal cups for all orders, including mobile
Posted at 9:10 AM, Jan 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-03 10:10:48-05

Starbucks is now allowing customers to use personal cups for all orders at company-operated stores in the U.S. and Canada, including for mobile orders and at the drive-thru.

The move, which starts Wednesday, is part of an effort to reduce cup waste.

Customers using reusable cups at participating U.S. and Canada stores will receive a $0.10 discount on their order, and in the U.S., will get 25 bonus stars. Stars can be collected for discounts and free items.

To participate, customers must present a clean, personal cup. Baristas will not clean or rinse personal cups, and dirty cups will not be accepted.

At the drive-thru, patrons can order their beverage as usual and let baristas know they brought their own cup. Baristas will collect the cup at the window without the lid via a contactless vessel for hygiene and safety. The beverage will be returned using that same method.

For mobile orders, customers can hit the "customization" button on the Starbucks app and select the "personal cup" option, and continue ordering as normal. When customers arrive at the pick-up area, they will hand over their clean cup to a barista, who will collect and return it via a contactless vessel.

Baristas will prep the drink in a "new, custom beverage craft smallware that has standardized lines partners need for measurements," and will then transfer the drink to the cup before toppings are added, Starbucks said. 

The smallware (where the drink is built and then transferred to personal cups) was co-designed by store partners who tested the reusable cup initiative in 200 drive-thru stores across Colorado last spring.

Starbucks is the first national coffeehouse in the U.S. giving customers the option to use a personal cup via mobile order for all drinks and all sizes.

For in-store orders, customers can let baristas know they want to use a personal cup, and will hand it over without the lid. Those dining in the café can request a reusable ceramic or glass cup at most stores.

Starbucks has a goal of reducing waste by 50% by 2030.

"As we know, the most sustainable cup is likely the one you already own. Bringing your own cup to stores is a critical step toward reducing single-use packaging waste. Starbucks is a leader in this work, as the first national retailer of scale to offer personal cup ordering in every channel, including mobile order," said Kate Daly, managing director and head of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, in a press release.


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