Starbucks Is Getting Rid of This at the End of June

The decision marks a major step towards post-COVID normalcy.

Some like it hot. Some like it iced. Some like it half-caff with two pumps of hazelnut and skim milk. Being able to order your coffee just the way you like it is one of the reasons why customers have remained so devoted to Starbucks. But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wind down, the ubiquitous coffee chain is beginning to make some major changes to its daily operations. And according to a statement from the company, Starbucks is getting rid of this one thing at the end of June. Read on to see what will be going away in a matter of weeks.

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Starbucks is getting rid of its ban on reusable cups on June 22.

A person holding a reusable Starbucks thermal cup
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As the world slowly gets back to normal, so too will your daily coffee order. Starbucks has announced in a statement that it will officially be getting rid of its ban on customers bringing in reusable cups, effective June 22. The move marks the end of the policy adopted as a safety precaution during the early days of the pandemic in March 2020.

"Bringing back personal reusable cups is a key part of Starbucks' ongoing commitment to reduce single-use cup waste and goal to reduce waste by 50 percent by 2030," the company said in a statement.

There are some new rules attached to the return of reusable cups.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - MARCH 12, 2016: worker at Starbucks Cafe. Starbucks Corporation is an American global coffee company and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington
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For the most part, the decades-old policy will be brought back in its original format, including offering customers a 10¢ discount off their beverage for using a reusable cup. But the company has announced a few strings attached to using your favorite mug or thermos for the time being.

The company states that "only clean cups will be accepted" for use, saying that Starbucks employees will not be able to clean out any dirty containers for customers. And while the company says it is currently testing safe options for allowing personal reusable cups at the drive-thrus, you'll only be able to get your container filled in stores.

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Starbucks is currently experimenting with a large-scale reusable cup program of its own.

starbucks logo outside a store
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Even though it's a well-known program, the reusable cup policy doesn't appear to be very popular among customers. Starbucks runs through a whopping 7 billion disposable cups each year, despite the company's efforts to become more environmentally friendly, CNBC reports.

Fortunately, Starbucks is currently experimenting with new programs to reduce the annual waste their packaging generates. In April, the company announced the launch of its "Borrow A Cup" circular packaging program in five stores in Seattle, which charges customers a $1 deposit for a reusable cup that they can return on their next visit, USA Today reports. The program is set to launch in all stores across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa by 2025.

Starbucks has also recently put some of their menu items "on hold" due to supply issues.

SEREMBAN,MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 18, 201T: Worker at Starbucks Cafe preparing coffee for customers.Starbucks is an American global coffee company and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington
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But while reusable cups may be coming back in a big way, some other Starbucks favorites have been disappearing from the menu as of late. On June 7, Business Insider reported that an internal memo from the company indicated the coffee chain had put a "temporary hold" on certain items as of June 4 "until supply chain issues are resolved." The list of at least 25 items being affected includes popular products and ingredients such as hazelnut syrup, toffee nut syrup, chai tea bags, green iced tea, and more.

In an email to Best Life on June 8, a Starbucks spokesperson clarified that there is no single item that is out across the board at all locations. "We are experiencing temporary supply shortages of some of our products. Specific items will vary by market and store, and some stores will experience outages of various items at the same time," they wrote. "We apologize for the inconvenience, and are working quickly and closely with our supply chain vendors to restock items as soon as possible." Business Insider also reported that while Starbucks has not said when products will be restocked, the company plans to refill all menu items with no permanent cancellations.

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Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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