Starbucks, a multinational chain of coffeehouses has decided to phase out its single-use cups and replace them with reusable mugs. The company has set a goal to become a resource-positive company by reducing its carbon footprint. It has already started the trials in Shanghai under the name of ‘Borrow a cup’. A statistical survey by Starbucks states that around 6 billion disposable cups and mugs are distributed worldwide by the company each year, most of which are thrown out as waste in the environment.
By the end of 2023, customers will be allowed to use their own cups in the U.S and Canada. Isn’t it funny for American brands to take steps towards a sustainable future? As America alone consumes 20% of global toilet paper per year and produces 37 million tons of plastic per year.
The United States of America has been at the top of the list of countries that consume maximum resources per capita. Some big brands like Coca-Cola and Kraft-Heinz have taken the initiative of ‘Reuse, Recycle’ to reduce the consumption of plastic and paper. It is seen that whenever a big brand takes a step towards sustainable development, consumers are the victims of the fancy ideas.
Saving the environment or cost-cutting initiative?
Along with reusable coffee mugs, Starbucks will also provide compostable options for straws replacing plastic straws. Surely, it is a great initiative. Yet the purpose of these brands doesn’t seem to be only contributing to a safe and sustainable future. Such companies have been seen increasing prices of food items under the impression of saving the environment. This new change at Starbucks will definitely charge for the reputed highest-quality reusable cups as they are manufactured with utmost care and precision.
Customer surveys are already indicating the low-quality yet expensive coffee products offered by Starbucks. There might be a possibility that it can charge for the sanitization of used cups as they will be used by other customers also. Though Starbucks offers customers incentives for using their own cups, charging coffee for the same price won’t be economical for the customers. It really seems like the company is covering the loss it has faced due to the global pandemic.
A Positive Step?
The reusable cups initiative along with the launch of the Starbucks Partner Waste and Recycling Application may complete the goals of achieving a green future but, it will only strengthen the economy of the company. People will be forced to accept the unnecessary changes in the products and prices. Planet positive goals of the companies must aid the environment by true, nature-helping initiatives, not by targeting people as a money-making machine.
Here are other companies that are offering similar sustainable solutions: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Red Lobster, Carlsberg, Nestle, Hyatt, Clifbar, Delta, IKEA, etc.