Starbucks Launches Innovative 100% Reusable Cup Program Inside Seattle HQ

Woman drinking from a reusable cup

As part of our planet positive commitment, we’re eliminating single-use cups in our Seattle office’s Starbucks café

We set a bold aspiration to become a resource positive company – to store more carbon than we emit, to eliminate waste, and to conserve and replenish more freshwater than we use. This aspiration included setting ambitious targets to cut our carbon, water and waste footprints in half by 2030. Making it easier for customers to use reusable cups is one part of our plan to reduce single-use cup waste. At SODO 8, the Starbucks café located in Starbucks Seattle office, we are leading the way by eliminating single-use cups—100% of beverages served will be in reusable cups.

Illustration of group of reusable cups

Introducing the SODO 8 Reusable Cup Program

All beverages served in SODO 8 will now be provided in a reusable cup, helping to eliminate the single-use cups that are sent to landfill. Customers have the option of bringing their own cup or participating in the Borrow-a-Cup program.

The Borrow-a-Cup program works as follows:

  1. Order your drink as usual
  2. Your drink will be served in a Borrow-a-Cup
  3. Enjoy your drink wherever you wish
  4. When finished, return the cup to one of the kiosks located around the building and in the kitchen areas. The cup will be professionally washed and sanitized, ready to be used again.
Front and back of reusable cup

These reusable cups are suitable for both hot and cold drinks, and are available in Tall, Grande and Venti sizes. Not only are these cups 100% recyclable, but due to the innovative material, they do not require a cardboard sleeve, further reducing waste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Borrow-a-Cup at SODO 8?
SODO 8’s unique location in the Starbucks Seattle office is a great way for us to live our values and for us to get rapid feedback so that we can make changes to improve the program. The Borrow-a-Cup program helps reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill while maintaining the Starbucks Experience that our customers expect. By 2030, we anticipate reducing our landfill waste by 50%.

Is Borrow-a-Cup a test?
While the program is a test, Borrow-a-Cup is anticipated to be a permanent feature at the SODO 8 store. We’re interested in feedback from store partners (employees) about how well Borrow-a-Cup fits into existing operations and what adjustments are required. We are also eager to learn about customer habits and opinions about the cup itself, such as: How quickly are they returned? Do customers rinse the cups prior to return? Do they enjoy drinking from the cup? We are also testing the impact on operations of retaining an external company to sanitize the cups offsite.

When will Borrow-a-Cup be available across the country?
The program is still in its early stages while we refine the process. So far, Borrow-a-Cup is only being tested in a few Starbucks locations around the world. Meanwhile, customers may bring clean, personal cups to our cafés and receive a discount on their beverage.

How are the cups cleaned?
Once the cups are returned to the store, they are commercially washed and sanitized to Starbucks high standards. They are then visually inspected for a final check.

Find out more about our planet positive commitments to cut our carbon, water and waste footprints in half by 2030.

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