Take your cup home, then hand it back in at any participating Starbucks café.

Starbucks has resolved to reduce its waste by 50 percent by 2030, both in a global sense and specifically regarding its Japanese market. A cornerstone of this mission is to emphasize re-using materials wherever possible, and the program they’ll be testing out at ten Starbucks outlets in the Tokyo area is very much in that spirit.

This plan specifically targets the production of disposable cups intended for take-out orders, since creating so many single-use cups generates a colossal amount of carbon dioxide. Instead, Starbucks wants to encourage patrons to rent a multi-use cup through what they’re dubbing the Borrow, Return, and Re-use cycle.

▼ The aim is to test the program on a small scale before implementing it across Japan.

The trial run will be held with the assistance of the Re&Go service, a container reuse service set up in cooperation with Nissha and NEC Solutions Innovators. To take part in the program you must add the Re&Go account to your friend feed through LINE, a popular messaging service in Japan.

▼ After adding the account on LINE you’ll be able to search for a store that’s running the program.

Then, head on down to a participating store, one of the ten in the pilot program based in the Tokyo Marunouchi Area.

The participating outlets are: Marunouchi Building, GRANSTA Marunouchi, KITTE Marunouchi, Marunouchi Oazo, Marunouchi Shin-Tokyo Building, Marunouchi Mitsubishi Building, Otemachi Place, Otemachi Tokyo Sankei Building, Shin-Otemachi Building, and Koukyogaien National Park’s Wadakura Fountain Park.

At the counter, let the barista know that you want to use the service. Then tap the “rent a cup” button in the app and scan the QR code attached to the cup when you get it.

The next step is the simplest. Enjoy your drink! Take it to the park, the office, or even back home at your leisure.

▼ Reducing waste with every sip.

When you’re done, head back to any of the Starbucks stores running the program. Tap “return a cup” in the app, scan the QR code at the store, and leave your cup at the counter.

The concept is that by using the store’s own hardy, durable cups — built to preserve the temperature of the drink inside — patrons will be able to cut down on the amount of plastic and cardboard cups they use, meaning that Starbucks won’t have to produce as many to meet demand.

The Re&Go account within the LINE app will allow you to track how much carbon dioxide would have been generated had you used a disposable cup, and the company hopes that this will encourage more of their customers to think about their emissions in an actionable way.

However, perhaps the biggest bonus is that should the program become adapted across all stores, eco-conscious customers wouldn’t have to remember to bring a bulky tumbler with them every time they want a coffee — and also wouldn’t have to wash out the tumbler afterward. They can arrive empty-handed, leave with a drink in a thoroughly sanitized and cleaned cup, then return it when they can, leaving the cup to be cleaned again and used by a new customer.

This is the latest in Starbucks’ appeals for customers to re-use cups and tumblers. In 2020 we saw their small, re-usable eco-cups, and earlier this year brought the arrival of reusable silicon straws to lower the use of disposable plastic ones.

For what it’s worth though, this trial has one advantage over all of their previous efforts: at least for the time being, this service is free! It starts on December 1, so give it a try if you’re in the area.

Source: Starbucks Press Release via Netlab
Top image: Starbucks Press release (edited by SoraNews24)
Insert images: Starbucks Press Release

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