Starbucks turns to 'Borrow-A-Cup' program to reduce waste

Starbucks wants to cut down on waste.

The coffee giant already ditched straws opting for more of a sippy-style cup and people can take their own to-go mugs and get 10 cents off.

But we're told only about 1% of customers do

So, the next step being tested in several cities is a program called Borrow-A-Cup.

The goal is to eliminate single-use paper and plastic cups by 2025.


The program lets customers get their drinks in a reusable cup they borrow from a store and then return it. Starbucks will then clean it and reuse it for other customers.

Store manager Kim Davis led one of the first stores to test Borrow-A-Cup in the U.S.

"Customers were just so excited to try something new and my partners had a lot of pride in testing it and giving that feedback to make the program even better," Davis said in a news release. "I do think that everyone really does want to contribute to a better world, and if we can help them do that one cup at a time, that is our mission right there."

Some customers at a Starbucks in Evanston who said they like the idea, fear it won't catch on.

"I do think some people would disagree or have an issue with it because people are on the go. We gotta get to work we got somewhere to be. It's like we don't have time to borrow a cup, but it will really just take two seconds," said Raven Lee.

Greer Rutter was more skeptical about the idea.

"It sounds a little not plausible," Rutter said. "I Like the idea itself. I don't know how many people are actually going to bring their cup back for somebody else to use it ... just realistically."

Customer Susan Frankel said there will likely still be kinks that need to be worked out.

"That concept is a little too much for me and I would probably just bring my own mug. I give them an A for trying. I think it still needs to be thought through," Frankel said.

Starbucks said it's also considering offering bigger discounts as an incentive to use your own cup or charging more for a paper cup as a disincentive.