Coffee chain Starbucks has announced that it’s moving away from single-use plastics and piloting a reusable cup scheme.
The company, which has pledged to become more sustainable in a number of ways, like cutting water use and other measures, plans to move forward with sustainability by reducing waste.
Starbucks says it will reduce its plastic waste by half by 2030. To help achieve this, by the end of the year, customers will be able to bring their own reusable cups.
This applies to US and Canadian branches of the chain, and customers will be allowed to do this whether they’re drinking inside or using a drive-thru service. Customers that don’t have a reusable cup will be provided with one if they need it.
The company said it will also be testing out the idea of cup washing stations at café counters. Additionally, it plans to invest in a pilot program with Volvo Cars and will be adding EV chargers to 15 Starbucks locations in the US.
The environmental impacts of plastic
Environmental groups have been concerned about the effects of plastic bottles, packaging, bags, and other plastic items for many years.
Billions of these items are used once and then thrown away, before usually ending up in the oceans and damaging marine wildlife. Additionally, plastic takes years to decompose and toxic chemicals can be released into the soil.
Starbucks hopes that the measures it is taking will help to combat this issue by reducing the amount of plastic waste produced, and by encouraging other companies to do the same.
Starbucks President and CEO, Kevin Johnson said in a statement, “We have a bold long-term sustainability vision and ambitious goals for 2030. Starbucks partners around the world are passionate about protecting our planet and are at the very center of driving the innovation that enables us to give more than we take from the planet.”