Starbucks Announces Plan To Remove All Single-Use Cups By 2025

Ashley Hunte
Three masked Starbucks employees holding reusable cups.
Starbucks | Starbucks

When it comes to creating sustainable options to reduce the amount of litter in the world, Starbucks seems to always be ahead of the curve. And it's no different now than it ever is.

Recently, the company announced its plans to eliminate single use plastic by 2025.

The exterior of a Starbucks location.
Unsplash | TR

On March 15, 2022, Starbucks announced their plans to become carbon positive ("store more carbon than [it emits]") by 2030.

This includes committing to ways to cut its carbon and water wastage.

Smoke stacks emitting smoke at sunset.
Unsplash | Alexander Tsang

The company expects to be able to cut their carbon footprint in half by their 2030 goal.

They're also planning to shift toward more reusable options in stores.

Several Starbucks cups of various sizes resting on a counter.
Starbucks | Starbucks

Rather than rely on the single-use cups they've been providing for years, their goal is to completely switch over to reusable cups that customers can swap during visits.

The company has already begun shifting away from plastic straws in favor of compostable options, so this seems like the natural next step.

They plan to do this in a number of ways.

A person holding a mug with the Starbucks logo printed on it.
Unsplash | quan le

Starbucks has been testing a program called 'borrow a cup.' On their website, they describe it as follows:

"Customers order their drink in a designated Starbucks reusable cup, designed to be returned to stores, professionally cleaned, and reused by other Starbucks customers."

They are also reintroducing their reusable personal cup program.

Suspended due to the pandemic, the program is back, with new ways to keep both customers and baristas safe. Check out the video to see what they're doing.

Another one of their plans is to swap to for-here-ware.

A white coffee cup in front of boxes with black and white prints on them.
Unsplash | Marianne Krohn

Rather than get a paper or plastic cup when you sit down at your local Starbucks, the company plans to use permanent mugs and cups to serve you in-store — just like any old coffee shop.

Not to mention, incentives to encourage reusable drinkware options.

USD dimes and quarters in a pile.
Unsplash | Shot by Cerqueira

This will include a possible discount (around 10 cents) for a reusable cup, or a fee (also around 10 cents) when opting for a single-use option.

And their recycling programs are about to get better.

A blue bin with the recycle symbol printed in white.
Unsplash | Sigmund

While the shift to reusable cups is still a ways away, Starbucks is rolling out newer cups with more recyclable content starting this fall.

All in all, they hope to see a greener future.

The Starbucks logo in front of a pile of coffee beans.
Unsplash | engin akyurt

This could very well be the new trend in fast food and coffee venues. And I have to say, I'm looking forward to it.