Could the end of Starbucks’ iconic coffee cups be near? In 2018, Starbucks announced it was developing a recyclable, compostable cup. I guess that plan didn’t work out so well because on Tuesday, Starbucks announced it plans to phase out disposable cups in favor of reusable ones.
The transition will happen over the next three years because of sustainability and environmentalism … and garden variety wokeness.
“Our cup is ubiquitous, and we love that,” said Michael Kobori, Starbucks chief sustainability officer. “But it is also this ubiquitous symbol of a throwaway society.”
“By 2025, the company wants every customer to be able to either use their own mug easily or borrow a ceramic or reusable to-go mug from their local Starbucks. That could mean rolling out more borrow-a-mug programs that require a deposit,” reports CNN Business. “Starbucks is also planning, by the end of next year, to let customers use their own personal mugs at every Starbucks in the United States and Canada, even if they order ahead or use the drive-thru.”
This has disaster written all over it. Do the geniuses at Starbucks really believe people will return these reusable cups to get their deposit back? In a post-COVID world, does Starbucks really want to aggressively encourage people to use their own mugs again? How exactly will this model work for mobile and drive-thru orders?
But in a world where corporations are kowtowing to wokeness, Starbucks is undoubtedly proving itself to be a pioneer of new, stupid ways to stand out and doesn’t care about the obvious unintended consequences as long as it gets favorable news coverage for its efforts.
I’m not sure what Starbucks is thinking with this plan. Obviously, it’s trying to be environmentally “responsible,” but it seems like a really stupid move. This reminds me of the move to ditch plastic straws by transitioning to adult sippy-cup lids that actually use more plastic than those environmentally devastating straws.
Seriously, this sounds like an idea Greta Thunberg would have come up with.