Starbucks is debuting all-new 'reusable' cups, and fans are deeply divided: ‘That's so gross’

Dillon Thompson
·3 min read

Starbucks reusable cups are officially here, and fans of the coffee chain have plenty of strong feelings

The returnable, eco-friendly cups are debuting for two months at five select locations, according to CNN. Currently, the cups are only available in Seattle, home of the first-ever Starbucks.

So, how much do the Starbucks reusable cups cost? Technically, they’re free, but they do cost an extra $1 at the time of purchase. However, if customers return the cup the next time they visit, they’ll get the $1 back — plus 10 Starbucks rewards points. 

As Fast Company reported, the returned cups will be picked up, washed and sanitized by a startup called Go Box. Conversely, customers can have their cups picked up at home thanks to a recycling service called Ridwell, which is also partnering with Starbucks. 

“Today, Starbucks rolls out a pilot program in select stores where customers can borrow a reusable cup. The cups are then professionally cleaned & ready to be used again,” the company tweeted on April 6

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The pilot program is part of Starbucks’ larger plan for reducing its environmental footprint in the coming years. Recently, Starbucks Korea announced its intention to eliminate all single-use cups by 2025. 

Starbucks customers had plenty to say about the announcement online. Some took to Twitter with praise for the chain.

“Once again, changing the world one coffee at a time,” one user wrote

“Please bring this to Virginia!” another added

Others were more critical. Some users called the concept of buying a reused cup “gross,” while others were worried the plan didn’t go far enough. 

“I’m confused how can we not use our own cups but you come pick up a cup from our home and sanitize it is safer?” one user asked. “Like I’m so confused on all of this.”

“That sounds gross, is it soft plastic or is good enough to go through a good sanitize wash like in restaurants?” another asked

“Change to paper cups for all drinks,” another wrote. “There is no need for plastic cups.”

It remains to be seen when or how the program might spread more widely — or how it will affect the plastic-cupped custom drinks that TikTok users love so much. For now, most Starbucks fans are simply left to share their thoughts online. 

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