Starbucks Will Have BYO Cup Systems In Place Nationwide By 2024

Although Starbucks pledged to turn into a more environmentally conscious coffee chain decades ago, it has had a somewhat rocky journey toward reaching its goal. In 2018, Starbucks came under fire for not meeting its pledge to make every single cup that it used reusable or recyclable at the very least and serve 25% of its beverages in reusable cups by 2015. Considering Starbucks generates roughly seven billion disposable cups in waste each year, the coffee chain faced backlash from several environmental organizations who launched campaigns asking for accountability. But Starbucks' future looks far more sustainable and a whole lot greener.

On August 14, Starbucks released a statement announcing that all its stores across the U.S. and Canada will be equipped with BYO cup systems starting in 2024. Customers will be able to either bring their own cups no matter where or how the order is placed: mobile orders, in-cafe beverages, and to-go coffees at drive-thrus will all accommodate reusable cups.

The news comes at the heels of Starbucks announcing that it was testing its reusable cups at 12 stores in Napa and Petaluma, California as a part of its goal to reduce its carbon footprint by half come 2023. Starting from August 14 through October 22, customers at select locations in California will be able to either bring their own cup at the café or drive-thru — or Borrow A Cup from the store. In-café patrons will also have the option to opt for a reusable glass or ceramic tumbler called For Here Ware.

Starbucks has been expanding its reusable cup program across the world

Starbucks is slowly working towards serving every single beverage at all its stores in the U.S. — and its outposts across the globe — in reusable or recyclable cups. As part of its sustainability pledge, Starbucks first launched the Borrow A Cup program at five Seattle stores in 2021, slowly acclimatizing customers to ditch single-cup plastic cups for more eco-friendly reusable tumblers. The scheme allowed people to borrow reusable cups for a $1 refundable deposit which could be returned within two months for a dollar of in-store credit and ten bonus stars for rewards members.

As of August 2023, the reusable cup test has been extended to several countries including Germany, Japan, the U.K., and Singapore as well as to locations within the U.S. beyond Seattle. After successful tests from April to June at its stores in Colorado, all customers in the state can now request for their drive-thru drinks to be poured into reusable cups for a $0.10 discount and 20 bonus stars as perks in return.

The SODO 8 store — the coffee giant's flagship store in Seattle — has also been serving 100% of its drinks in reusable tumblers since March 2022, and Starbucks is currently testing the same program at its stores in the Arizona State University campus where anyone who uses Borrow A Cup will get a dollar knocked off their drink. If all goes well, Starbucks will be 100% reusable cup-friendly across the U.S. by 2024 with similar perks for customers who make sustainable choices.