Starbucks Circular Cup expands to 30 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa, recycling 450,000 cups

Since successfully launching the Starbucks Circular Cup, a reusable cup made in the UK from approximately six single-use paper cups, Starbucks is now scaling up the programme, from 20,000 to 75,000 cups, to launch across its stores in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as part of its reusables expansion.

Locally produced in Cornwall, southwest England, in collaboration with Circular&Co., the creation of Starbucks Circular Cup has so far saved 450,000 single-use paper cups which have each been upcycled into the unique reusable. Meanwhile, the cup’s recycled plastic is made from Cornish ice cream tubs, further building a circular economy from local waste by revolutionising how products are viewed, re-used, and recycled by consumers around the world.

The growth and expansion of the Circular Cup is testament to Cornwall’s thriving circular economy and a result of high-skilled manufacturing jobs created in the community. This will be celebrated at the G7 Summit hosted at Carbis Bay, in Cornwall, from 11-13 June, with the Circular Cup featuring as part of the world-leading conference.

Starbucks continues to explore scalable solutions to encourage the uptake of reusables and reduce single-use cup waste, having last month announced its commitment to offer a reusable cup-share programme across all 3,840 stores in Europe, Middle East and Africa by 2025, as part of our ongoing commitment to reduce waste by 50% by 2030 and become a resource positive company.

Starbucks Path Towards Increased Reuse

Starbucks stores in Europe, Middle East and Africa have been on a journey to decreasing the number of single-use paper cups that leave its stores.  Our key activities include: 

  • 1998 – Starbucks was the first on the UK high street to encourage reuse by offering an incentive discount ever since we arrived in the UK in 1998.
  • 2014 – Starbucks launches £1 reusable cup to make it as easy as possible for customers to reuse at an accessible price.
  • July 2018 – Starbucks voluntarily introduces the 5p charge on single use plastic cups to all stores within the U.K., working with environmental and behavioural change experts, Hubbub.
  • April 2019 – Starbucks and Hubbub launch the 1m Cup Fund, the U.K.’s largest grant fund offering grants of £50,000 - £100,000 to bolster and scale up cup recycling.
  • April 2019 – Starbucks conducts the first ever airport reusable cup trial at London’s Gatwick Airport to drive consumer behaviour around reusables.
  • August 2020 – Within the U.K., Starbucks EMEA is one of the first large scale coffee houses to bring back the use of personal cups with a completely contactless process to address health and safety concerns of the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • May 2020 – Starbucks U.K. collaborates with Circular&Co. to produce 20K reusable cups out of paper cup waste supporting the development of a circular economy. The Cornwall based company was able to move production from China to a specialist manufacturing facility in Perranporth – creating 11 new high-skilled jobs for the region.
  • December 2020 – Starbucks stores across EMEA eliminate all plastic straws and introduce the strawless lid, removing the need for a straw altogether for our iced beverages.
  • June 2021 – Starbucks announces its commitment to offer a reusable Cup-Share program in all Starbucks stores across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, by 2025.
  • June 2021 – Starbucks collaboration with Circular&Co. producing reusable cups from paper cup waste expands to offer the merchandise across the rest of its 43 countries in EMEA.