The new program kicked off as a two-month trial and allows customers to pay a refundable $1 deposit for a reusable cup. When the customer returns the cup, they receive a $1 credit and 10 bonus stars.
If customers choose to take their cup home and would rather not return it to the store themselves, they can take advantage of Starbucks' partnership with Ridwell, a company that will pick up the reusable cups from the customers' homes. Each cup is then cleaned, sanitized, and returned to a nearby store for the next customer to borrow.
The trial program was announced just in time to kick off Earth Month and could contribute greatly to the company's goal to reduce its waste by 50% by 2030. The company estimates that one borrowed cup could replace up to 30 disposable cups.
Customers looking to use the new feature can do so in the store, at the drive-through, and when using Starbucks's mobile app to order ahead.
The trial run is expected to end on May 31. Upon conclusion, the company will then determine if and how they wish to expand the program to more stores.
Starbucks chief sustainability officer Michael Kobori stated, "We understand the interdependency of human and planetary health, and we believe it is our responsibility to reduce single use cup waste. We will lead the transition to a circular economy."
In 2019, Starbucks launched a reusable cup trial at Gatwick Airport in London. The trial came approximately one year after Starbucks launched the NextGen Cup Challenge with McDonald's and other corporations to come up with alternative, earth-friendly materials for disposable cups.
Previously, Starbucks allowed for customers to bring their own cups to the store and receive a small discount for doing so; however, the company discontinued this practice due to COVID-19 precautions.
Visit Starbucks's website to learn more about their new "Borrow A Cup" trial program.
Image from Starbucks