If customers take the glass home, they can also take advantage of Starbucks’ partnership with Ridwell, a company that will collect reusable glasses from their home. Each cup is then cleaned and sanitized and rotated again for another customer to use.
The chain’s traditional disposable hot cups are made of plastic and paper, making them difficult to recycle. And while compostable cups might be a greener option, they must be composted in an industrial facility. So reusable cups could be a more practical and eco-friendly option, although this approach can be difficult to scale.
Starbucks launched a reusable cup trial at London’s Gatwick Airport in 2019, a year after the company launched the NextGen Cup Challenge in collaboration with McDonald’s and other partners to rethink cup materials. Contestants, from hobbyists to industrial design firms, submitted proposals for mugs made from mushrooms, rice husks, water lilies, corn husks and artificial spider silk.