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Starbucks starts a new ‘borrow a cup’ program during a pandemic

Starbucks has a new cup program where you can use, give back, share and reuse

SHARE Starbucks starts a new ‘borrow a cup’ program during a pandemic
A Starbucks coffee company logo and information signs are seen at Palatine Metra train station in Palatine, Ill., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The Starbucks inside the Metra train station in Palatine closed after nearly 20 years.

A Starbucks coffee company logo and information signs are seen at Palatine Metra train station in Palatine, Ill., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press

Starbucks has announced a new “borrow a cup” program that will allow Starbucks drinkers to use cups and give them back to Starbucks, CNN reports.

The program — which is being tested in Seattle for two months — will allow customers to receive their drinks in cups that can be reused again.

  • Yes, the program costs $1 more.

Customers will order their drinks in the reusable cup, according to CNN. They will give $1 to Starbucks. When they return the cup, the customer gets a $1 credit and 10 bonus stars for the Starbucks app.

  • If customers take the cup home with them, they can contact the company Ridwell, which will come pick up the cup from your home, CNN reports.
  • Each cup — when returned to Starbucks — will be cleaned and sanitized. Other people can then use that same cup, according to CNN.

The program will run through May 31. The program is meant to help limit the use of plastic during Earth Month.

Starbucks told USA Today that one of these cups would replace 30 disposable cups.

  • “We believe it is our responsibility to reduce single use cup waste,” Starbucks chief sustainability officer Michael Kobori said in a statement, according to USA Today. “We will lead the transition to a circular economy.”

There have been questions about whether people can use reusable cups during the coronavirus pandemic due to fears of spreading germs. The Conversation recently reported there is some risk to spreading COVID-19 in cafes and restaurants.

“Of course, a washed reusable container could still become contaminated with and transmit the virus as it’s passed between a customer and a server,” according toThe Conversation. “So cafes and bars will have to find a suitable way to serve drinks, such as the customer putting their own cup on a tray and passing it across a counter to be filled by a person wearing personal protective equipment. This would minimize the risk of the virus being inadvertently transferred onto the outside of a clean cup or glass by either party.”

That said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance on COVID-19 spreading on surfaces, saying there is no significant risk of getting the novel coronavirus from surfaces.