Starbucks Canada eliminates all plastic straws and brings back personal reusable cups

Starbucks today announced it will be taking the final step to eliminate all plastic straws from its cafes and reintroducing personal reusable cups across the country as part of its ongoing commitment to reduce waste by 50% by 2030.

Goodbye plastic. Hello paper!

In support of Starbucks goal to eliminate one billion plastic straws globally every year, Starbucks Canada will introduce a new paper straw, beginning in late August for beverages that require one*. The new paper straws are Starbucks green, compostable and, like many new products offered in Starbucks stores, underwent testing to meet the company’s high-quality standards, without comprising the customer experience. This paper straw was carefully selected for its durability to be used in beverages like Frappuccino® blended beverages.

“Since we announced our global commitment to eliminate single-use plastic straws across all stores, Starbucks Canada has focused tirelessly on finding a straw alternative that meets our quality standards and customer need,” said Lori Digulla, senior vice president and general manager for Starbucks Canada. “We are proud to take this final step to remove all plastic straws from our stores. We remain committed to shifting away from single-use plastics to be part of a solution that helps our planet in a sustainable way.”

The shift to paper straws, together with Starbucks strawless lids, will save more than 68 million single-use plastic straws annually from landfill in Canada.

Personal reusable cups return to Starbucks stores 

Beginning August 24, Starbucks is reintroducing personal reusable cups across company operated stores in Canada.

With more Starbucks stores welcoming customers back in to stores in Canada and across the globe, the company held trials on new and safe ways to reintroduce reusable cups with confidence. As part of Starbucks ongoing commitment to prioritizing partner and customer safety, the company developed a completely contactless, new method—eliminating any shared touch points between the customer and Starbucks partners. ​

To encourage customers to choose reusable and reduce single-use cup waste, Starbucks will continue offering customers a $0.10 discount on their beverage of choice.  Starbucks will also be reinstating For Here Ware for customers that choose to enjoy their food and beverages in-store (only where available or permitted by local regulations).

Only clean cups will be accepted, and Starbucks partners will not be able to clean them for customers. While for now, personal reusable cups will only be accepted in the café, the company is currently testing safe options for allowing personal reusable cups via the drive thru.

How it works

Cleanliness of cup is checked by your barista, retain your lid

Reusable is placed in a ceramic mug

Beverage is made, contact free

At the hand-off, pick up your cup

Pop on the lid, and you’re good to go

Both initiatives are vital steps to help Starbucks shift away from single-use packaging and reduce waste, while supporting the company’s global aspiration of a resource-positive future. Efforts to reduce waste is not new to Starbucks and the company continues to explore scalable options here in Canada, including:

  • Using recyclable, strawless lids that are made with nine percent less plastic than the previous cup straw-and-lid combination.
  • Acting through powerful partnerships like our work with Closed Loop Partners and their NextGen Consortium to research and test solutions that aim to make our cups, lids and straws easier to recycle and compost.
  • Helping fund in-store recycling in every store where this is possible, especially to recycle our single use cups in regions where local recycling facilities do not have the capabilities.
  • Rescuing 100% of food available for donation at company-operated stores through FoodShare program to be nationally rolled out by end of September.
  • Switching to recyclable, polypropylene cutlery to make it more easily acceptable in the Canadian waste stream. 

Starbucks continues to make progress in our efforts to reduce waste at our stores around the world. Earlier this year, Starbucks EMEA announced they will offer a reusable cup share program in all Europe, Middle East and Africa stores by 2025. In July, Starbucks South Korea launched its first Borrow a Cup program in select stores and recently committed to eliminating single-use cups by 2025.

* An alternative option will be available for customers who require one for accessibility reasons.

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