Starbucks has announced that it will introduce a unique reusable Cup-Share program in all of its 3,840 stores in Europe, Middle East, and Africa by 2025 as it looks to reduce the amount of its single use waste. An initial trial will begin over the coming months in the U.K., France and Germany expanding shortly thereafter based on local operations, regulations, and customer feedback.
Introducing and scaling a reusable Cup-Share initiative in EMEA is a key part of Starbucks global commitment to reduce single use cup waste and goal to reduce waste by 50% by 2030. The program is designed to overcome barriers currently limiting reusable cup usage. This work also expands on the company’s comprehensive strategy to designing out waste which includes in-store recycling and ceramic availability, reusable discounts, as well as paper cup surcharges and developing a circular economy through merchandise like the Starbucks Circular Cup.
Duncan Moir, president Starbucks EMEA said:
“We have set an ambitious goal to be a resource positive company and I believe we have a responsibility to give our customers new and unique options to integrate reusables in their day to day lives. While we have made great strides in reducing the number of single use paper cups that leave our stores there is more to be done and we must make reusability the only option, long term”.
In the pilot projects, Starbucks will trial a Cup-Share program that allows customers to pay a small deposit for a reusable cup for hot and cold beverages. Tested to last up to 30 times and available in three sizes, each cup uses an identifying number associated with the Starbucks reusable cup to the deposit paid. The customer will then be able to use their reusable and return it to Starbucks via a kiosk or at the point of sale. Upon return, Starbucks will give the deposit back to the customer in the form of tender
As part of the Cup-Share program, Starbucks will be introducing a new reusable cup that uses patented foaming technology that results in a rigid and durable wall structure with up to 70% less plastic than current reusable cups. In addition, this unique wall structure provides insulation for both hot and cold liquids, so that it can be used for both hot and cold beverages without the need for any sleeve, helping to further reduce our resource footprint.
This initiative will be in addition to providing a 25-30 pence/cent discount for any customer bringing in their own reusable cup across the region. The company is also re-introducing its 5 pence/cent paper cup surcharge in the U.K. and Germany to encourage reusable usage with funds being directed to environmental charities addressing global waste issues. This re-introduction is compounded by Starbucks stores in Switzerland and Czech Republic also introducing a paper cup charge over the coming weeks.
Customer Barriers to Reusability:
In 2019, the company commissioned environmental and behavioural experts, Hubbub to do a U.K. study on the factors that contributed to customers not using a reusable cup. Key findings include: