Starbucks Is Planning to Phase Out Its Iconic, Disposable Cups
This Tea is served up in a reusable cup! Starbucks has a problem . . . and no, it isn’t that baristas are struggling to spell your name correctly.
Starbucks has an iconic cup . . . but there’s a downside to that. They say it’s now considered a “ubiquitous symbol of a throwaway society.” So they have a new goal: To COMPLETELY ELIMINATE disposable cups by 2025.
So how are they going to do that . . . within three years?
They’re testing multiple solutions, but they say the most promising one is a cup BORROWING system, where you pay a $1 deposit every time you order and take one of their reusable cups . . . and it’s refunded when you drop them off after use. They would then have a third party clean the cups and re-stock the stores.
Other solutions involve ramping up the incentives for people to bring their OWN mugs . . . either with bigger discounts for using your own, or by tacking on increasing surcharges for disposable cups, like some places do for plastic bags.
But customers’ habits and convenience is just part of the problem. There are logistical challenges too. 70% of Starbucks’ sales are either drive-thru or mobile “order ahead” orders. To be efficient, those things require drinks to be started in advance . . . before you can hand them a mug.