Rina: Turning old coffee bags into new lined pouches

Rina, manager of sustainability and social impact at Starbucks Malaysia, spearheaded a project that gives a second life to old coffee bags while providing extra income to women and girls in underserved communities.

Rina started as a part-time barista in college before taking on different roles in marketing, public affairs, digital strategy and social impact. In 2022, she spearheaded the Starbucks Upcycled Flavorlock Pouch project, where Starbucks works with women and girls from low-income households to help turn whole bean coffee packaging into small lined pouches, giving them a second life. Not only does this save potential trash from the landfill, but for every pouch sold, Starbucks donates money to the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) in Kuala Lumpur to contribute to vocational training to empower women and girls from underserved communities.  

It is more than just coffee. I am very fortunate to love what I do and be presented with many interesting opportunities. At Starbucks, every day is an ongoing learning journey and it’s always exciting for me! Inspired by many employees, communities and NGOs that I worked with, my team and I are happy to pay it forward by strategizing sustainable social impact programs that are able to empower and create pathways for the beneficiaries. While it has its challenges, it is undoubtedly a very fulfilling career.


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