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Starbucks partners with other chains in first-of-its kind reusable cup pilot

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Starbucks reusable cups
Eight Starbucks stores are participating in the city-wide test initiative.

Starbucks is teaming up with more than 30 other quick-serve chains to test a city-wide returnable cup initiative in the city of Petaluma, California.

Starting Aug. 5 and ending Oct. 28, Starbucks and restaurant brands that include Dunkin’, Peet’s Coffee, Burger King and Yum! Brands and select local businesses in Petaluma in a returnable beverage cup pilot. Eight Starbucks stores are participating in the initiative: six company-operated stores and two licensed stores located in Target and Safeway stores.

To-go beverages from the participating Starbucks locations or other chains will come in a reusable cup with a purple back featuring the words “Sip, Return Repeat.”  When customers finish their drink, they can drop the cup in one of the more than 60 return bins that have been installed across the city. The cups will be collected and sanitized to be used again.

The city-wide initiative, in partnership with NextGen Consortium, is the first of its kind, making reusable cups the default option and aiming to reduce hundreds of thousands of single-use cups over the course of the test. Some return bins will stay in the market longer after Oct. 28 to allow customers to return their cups after the project ends.

[READ MORE: Starbucks launches personal cup option at stores]


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Advertisements will be placed on billboards, bus stops and other public locations across Petaluma to raise awareness about the cup program. Customers will see purple reusable cups across the city labeled a "Sip, Return, Repeat" reminder. 

The move is the latest for Starbucks’ sustainability initiatives. In 2020, the coffee giant said it aimed to become a resource-positive company by cutting its climate, water and waste footprint in half and ensuring all customer packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2030.

Founded in Seattle in 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company operates nearly 39,000 stores worldwide.

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