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Coffee without the waste: Reusable cups return to Starbucks today

Have your coffee, save the planet. Starbucks is allowing reusable cups at company-owned locations for the first time since the pandemic struck.

Coffee without the waste: Reusable cups return to Starbucks today
[Photo: Unsplash]
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Start searching your kitchen cabinet for that “I don’t do Mondays” reusable cup, because you might want to take it with you to Starbucks this morning.

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Today is the first time since March 2020 that the Seattle-based coffee chain is allowing customers to bring their own beverage containers to fill at the stores.

The policy change, announced on June 8, is for company-operated stores in the United States. As was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic forced Starbucks to ban personal reusable cups, customers who opt for BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup) get a $0.10 discount on their drink. And the company says it’s testing safe ways for reusable cups to be used in the future at the drive-throughs, too.

The push for reusable containers is the company’s long-term effort to reduce single-use cup waste.

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To use a personal cup, yours must already be clean when presented to the barista. (No, the store employee won’t clean it for you.)

Here’s the contactless procedure, in which the barista uses a store ceramic mug to transport the reusable cup: You hold onto your lid and place the open container in the mug for the store employee to carry it to the drink-assembly area to make the drink. When the beverage is ready, you lift your cup out of the mug, put its lid back on, and head out.

Starbucks aims to reduce single-use cup waste and reduce all waste by 50% by 2030, according to the corporate website.