Cup-Share, Starbucks’ innovative single-use waste reduction scheme, is to be implemented in all of its 3,840 stores in Europe, Middle East (EMEA), and Africa by 2025. An initial trial will begin later this year in the UK, France and Germany. The ensuing roll-out will be based on local operations, regulations, and customer feedback.
Starbucks says it is committed to cutting its single use cup waste. The ambitious aim of Cup-Share, if achieved, will see the company to reduce this kind of waste by 50% by 2030. The programme is designed to ‘overcome barriers currently limiting reusable cup usage’, Starbucks says.
‘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’, Duncan Moir, president Starbucks EMEA said: ‘While we have made great strides in reducing the number of single use paper cups that leave our stores, there’s more to be done: we must make re-usability the only option, long term.’
This is how Cup-Share works: customers pay a small deposit for a reusable cup, which can be used for both hot and cold drinks. Customers will be able to use their cup up to 30 times and return it to Starbucks via a kiosk. That’s when they get their deposit back, in the form of a tender. (Quite how us punters are expected to keep track of how many times the reusable has been used is not explained and looks like a potential flaw in the plan).
So, what about the new reusable cup? Apparently, it contains around ‘70% less plastic than current reusable cups’ and ‘a unique insulation structure’, meaning it can be used for both hot and cold drinks. No outer sleeve is required.
Cup-Share launches in addition to the 25-30 pence/cent discount falready available to 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 the adoption of reusables. By the way, funds raised in this way will be directed to environmental charities dedicated to addressing global waste issues.
Evidently, there is consumer resistance to the concept of reusable cups. That’s why Starbucks commissioned a UK study: to try to understand the factors that contributed to customers failing to choose the ‘re-usable’ option. The key findings found that…
- 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.
‘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’, Mr. Moir said.
The Big Bucks that are destined to flow into Cup-Share guarantee that the public will soon be up to speed with the implications of the global waste emergency, if they’re to already – and made to feel that it’s their duty to ‘do their bit’ by giving re-usables a try. It won’t be long before consumers begin to demand a similar facility whenever and wherever they choose to buy a drink to go.
So, when – not ‘if’ – a client of yours demands the removal of single-use cups from their premises, will you have an alternative solution ready to go?
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