Starbucks announced that it will introduce a reusable ‘Cup-Share’ programme in all of its 3,840 stores in Europe, Middle East (EMEA), 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 UK, 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 programme is designed to ‘overcome barriers currently limiting reusable cup usage’, Starbucks says.
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
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”.
The pilot schemes will allow customers to pay a small deposit for a reusable cup for both hot and cold drinks. Customers will be able to use their cup up to 30 times and return it Starbucks via a kiosk or at point of sale where upon they will be given their deposit back in the form of a tender.
The scheme will introduce a new reusable cup containing around 70% less plastic than current reusable cups and a unique insulation structure allowing it to be used for both hot and cold drinks without the need for an outer sleeve.
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 UK and Germany to encourage reusable usage with funds being directed to environmental charities addressing global waste issues.
This reintroduction is compounded by Starbucks stores in Switzerland and Czech Republic also introducing a paper cup charge over the coming weeks.
Barriers to reusability
In 2019, the company commissioned environmental and behavioural experts, Hubbub to do a UK study on the factors that contributed to customers not using a reusable cup.
Key findings found 36% of people don’t use a reusable cup every time they buy a hot drink because they must remember them every time they go out.
Despite 69% of people owning a reusable cup, only 17% use them every time they buy a hot drink; and 27% of people would be ‘embarrassed’ to ask a store to put a hot drink in their own cup.
It is massively encouraging to see the steps that Starbucks is taking which makes it as easy as possible for people to choose a reusable cup.
Trewin Restorick, CEO, Hubbub said: “It is massively encouraging to see the steps that Starbucks is taking which makes it as easy as possible for people to choose a reusable cup.
“The company has run reuse trials to understand what incentivises customers to act and pioneered different pricing mechanisms. Building on this expertise, they have set out bold plans, using their scale and influence, to chart a new way forward that could change the entire industry.”
In January 2020, Starbucks launched its new sustainability strategy to set the company on a path to a resource-positive future.
This means Starbucks aims to store more carbon than it emits, eliminate waste, and provide more clean water than we use.
Its 2030 goals include:
- 50% reduction in carbon emissions
- 50% reduction of water usage through conservation or replenishment of water used for direct operations and coffee production
- 50% reduction in waste sent to landfills