Starbucks Takes Another Big Sustainability Step With Circular Cups

After launching the Starbucks Circular Cup in the UK in August 2020, Starbucks is scaling up the reusable cup programme worldwide — including an initial limited edition launch in South Africa — as part of its reusables expansion.Made from reclaimed materials from around six paper cups, the Starbucks Circular Cup has so far upcycled 450,000 single-use cups into this new reusable cup. The cup uses recycled plastic to further support a circular economy revolutionising how packaging is viewed, re-used, and recycled.

Using technology developed by a company in Cornwall, England (the location of the recent G7 Summit), the Starbucks Circular Cup is a practical example of Starbucks’ financial and operational commitment to its ongoing sustainability commitments and aspirations to become resource positive.

How used paper coffee cups get turned into a Starbucks Circular Cup

  • We collect millions of our single-use paper coffee cups in store every year
  • These cups are industrially cleaned and shredded
  • The recycled paper is transformed into a recycled paper cup form
  • These are blended with a recycled plastic from ice cream tubs
  • The resulting Starbucks Circular Cups are ready for customers to use and re-use

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the climate crisis and the need for responsible companies to make real, tangible and measurable commitments to a carbon-neutral economy, it’s good to know that a major international coffee brand is leading the way.

Did You Know?

Starbucks stores in South Africa have been playing their part in a quest to decrease the number of single-use paper cups leaving its stores.  Key activities include:

  • Starbucks South Africa was the first franchise coffee company to offer an incentive discount of R2 off beverages when using reusable cups.
  • Starbucks is one of the first large scale coffee houses within South Africa to promote personal cups.
  • Starbucks stores across South Africa eliminate all plastic straws and introduce the strawless lid, removing the need for a straw altogether for our iced beverages.
  • Starbucks South Africa commits to offering a reusable Cup-Share program in all Starbucks stores by 2025.
  • Starbucks South Africa now offers an initial limited edition Circular Cup merchandise to customers.

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